Amy C Edmonson defines teaming as teamwork on the fly. Nowadays in many organizations, including hospitals, we have lost the luxury of stable teams. In many circumstances, experts have to work together without knowing each other, they haven´t had the opportunity to train together or create bonds. I am sure we can all recall a situation where we had to do teaming. And we will probably agree that we felt more comfortable working with stable teams. Stable teams have many advantages; however, these teams are static, rigid and require time to be build, and, in some contexts, these might be a serious disadvantage.  On the opposite, teaming is dynamic and more adaptable to changing contexts but, as mentioned before, working efficiently and feeling comfortable may be a challenge.

What are the clues for succeeding at teaming? According to Edmonson successful teaming is based in three principles. The first one is situational humility, that she defines as a wish to acknowledge the gaps in our knowledge. The second one, is curiosity about other´s opinions and potential contributions. Humility and curiosity will provide the third element, psychological safety, meaning a climate of trust and mutual respect where people will feel comfortable being themselves. Psychological safety will provide the appropriate environment to take risks, speak up and learn quickly. These three principles are also relevant in classical teamwork, but when talking about teaming we have to reach them really fast, and this might be a difficult task since we don´t know each other and we haven´t had time to build trust and create bonds.  As Edmonson says: “teaming asks people to get comfortable with a new way of working rather than with a new set of colleagues”.  The enemies of teaming are competitivity and professional culture clash. We must overcome them if we want to succeed.

The SAFETY project invites us to teaming from two different perspectives.  It is a project that gathers expert partners in simulation all across Europe that don´t know each other have to work together to achieve the final result of the project. Furthermore, emergency setting is a context where teaming is very common and the principles of teaming can be teacher with simulation. So, both the partners of the project and future students will practice teaming with SAFETY.

Written by Cristina Ibañez in behalf of Barcelona Team from Hospital Clinic for SAFETY Project

  1. Extreme teaming. Amy C Edmonson et al. First edition 2017. Emerald publishing limited.
  2. https://hbr.org/2012/04/teamwork-on-the-fly-2
  3. https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_edmondson_how_to_turn_a_group_of_strangers_into_a_team?rss=172BB350-0368