There IS an 'I' in Teamwork
I don't think anybody who enlists in the military fully understands what to expect while in basic training. I sure didn't! It's not until you step foot in a compartment full of strangers, all from different backgrounds, and you are presented with the challenges of being a recruit that you start to get a quick grasp of what teamwork really means.
Teamwork, as I later found out, is not only critical in the military, but essential for any organization who wants to drive quality, and a laboratory is no different. In the lab setting, having good teamwork may translate into catching a result early and positively impacting a patient's treatment course and outcome. For instance, the hematology tech who alerts microbiology to be extra cautious when reading the gram stain on Patient X because of the number of PMNS present on the fluid count.
Another benefit of working as a team is the ability to handle complex tasks more efficiently. A team is able to come up with far more options and offer a wider skill set versus flying solo. However, working as a team is not rid of difficulties, conflict of opinions and interests could be a frequent dilemma. Quite often, when a team has problems working together it goes back to having an incorrect perception of what teamwork really is. It is essential team members understand that being part of a team is analogous to a good marriage, where personal and team goals must be balanced. In other words, team members must work interdependently.
And for those of us born without the teamwork gene... there is still hope! All we have to do is try it! John C. Maxwell, in his book, The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, says we cannot improve a team unless we start improving the individuals on the team, in other words, ourselves. Let's ask ourselves, are we adaptable, communicative, humble, dependable, enthusiastic, intentional, solution oriented, proactive, etc.? And if not, vamonos!