Instructors Guide - Organizing Teams and Important Information

Organizing Teams and Important Information

When we think of life, with all its challenges and adversities, our ability to organize and prioritize plays a critical role in how fast we bounce back. Resilience definitely enhances our ability to navigate with greater ease toward successful vision and outcomes. This section focuses on organizing our PSN teams to be fully functional and to be able to capture important information that may be needed at a moment's notice. See the Chapter 4 Summary and pages in the Workbook appendix to provide the participants with very helpful sample illustrations of what and how to organize teams and tasks. These also provide a sample calendar format that might be used when organizing teams and tasks, though there are several online versions too. Collaboration, coordination, cooperation, communication, creativity and compassion are the foundation for productive and effective PSN teams.

Section Talking Points

  • Emphasis on creating a highly functional PSN with minimal confusion, chaos and conflict.
  • Collaboration, coordination, cooperation, clarification, creativity and compassion are the cornerstones of this section.
  • Instructors remind participants about the importance of the right team members performing the right tasks, including a selected team leader. Ideally, the team leader has demonstrated trustworthiness with confidential information and financial data.
  • If participants are weak in any of the cornerstones, encourage them to include people skilled in one or more of these aptitudes in their PSN. 

Getting Started: Organizing Teams and Important Information

Section Objectives

  • Introduction to what makes a care team productive and efficient and the benefits of diversity, including involving paid professionals when or if needed.
  • Identification of control issues that help and when and how desires for control can hinder team relationships. Recall the importance of adaptability, flexibility and discernment between what's really important to control and what's not.
  • Clarification of vision and values.
  • Identification of important ground rules: confidentiality, avoiding gossip, setting limits on availability, being on time, keeping purse strings tight, showing respect and honor endings.
  • Adaptations and illustrations of lists of items to consider and calendars for people and tasks.

Skills to Focus On

  • Organization/Prioritizing: A simple but crucial way to organize and prioritize is to start with the vision of the outcome. What does the person or group seeking a team's support see this to be? Walk it back to the beginning thinking about the steps, tasks, information, resources and people needed to achieve a successful outcome in line with this vision.
  • Accountability: Care team members and the care receiver, when assigned or having chosen tasks, can be depended upon, trusted and counted on to fulfill their agreed-upon areas of responsibility or to ask for help and accommodation.
  • Problem Solving: This skill is typically ongoing used when a PSN is set in motion. Having good problem solvers with good emotional management skills is essential for a smooth transition to normality.
  • Respect: Respecting the needs and abilities of each team member and the wishes of the care receiver creates harmony, avoids conflicts and makes the PSN feel good for all.  

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Forgetting to remind participants that challenges are an opportunity to reach out, be creative, accept help and gather input on ideas and solutions.
  • Participants failing to grasp the importance of care partners, team members, unique needs, gifts and talents and the gift of giving of themselves as care partners.
  • Participants not recognizing that absolute control can be detrimental to achieving successful outcomes.

Exercise 1:

To help expand understanding that communication is not always as straightforward as one might hope or expect; that checking for understanding is always important.

  • Ask each person in the group to get out a piece of paper.
  • Have each draw a line down the middle of the paper, and write on the top of the left side, the word "communication".
  • Have each person then list three other words that come to mind under the word, "communication."
  • Have them write on the top of the othe side, the word "education."
  • Ask each person to list three other words that come to mind under the word, "education."
  • Have the group break into threes and compare their lists, noting the similarities and differences.
  • Ask for volunteers who would be willing to discuss any differences; pointing out that more often than not people have differing ideas around what is being communicated or differing ways of stating these.
  • See if the entire group can arrive at a prioritized list of their words: What would characterize good communication? What would describe good education? Where is there overlap? Difference?

Exercise 2:

To demonstrate what can happen with gossip & verbal communication in a fun way.

  • Divide the class into groups of 7 or 8
  • Have each group form a line, one behind the other, side to side, or in a circle.
  • Whisper a phrase to the first person in the line. Don't have it be too simple, and have some specific items to remember. Something like, "The monkey ate 3 grapes, threw a banana at the seal, and the eagle caught it in midair."
  • Have the first person turn around and whisper it to the second person, going on down the row.
  • Going around to each group, have the last person say what they received at the end.