Chapter Leadership Brief 2.27.2019

By Jill M. Scibilia, CFRE Chapter Secretary & Vice President, Development,
Phelps Hospital Northwell Health

I have been giving a lot of thought to team-building lately. I am just over 90 days into a new job and so building my formal and informal teams has been especially important to me. I work for an acute-care community hospital that depends on strong and effective teams to fulfill our mission. Because of the critical importance of coordination and communication between the teams that are providing care to our patients, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, and the host of details they manage critical to patient care and safety, the team-work process is systematized and is constantly being evaluated and refined.

Getting to know our clinical and support teams, the high standards they set for themselves and how they support one another has been inspirational to me. It has also helped me to think about teamwork and team-building in a new way.

As fundraisers, we are charged with interpreting how those charged with delivering our organization’s mission do their work and why they do their work. Understanding the how and the why is key to our ability to tell the story, so we can raise money to support our missions.

We can also learn from them and adapt some of the techniques they use in our own work and on our own teams.

Here are some of the team-building lessons I have learned or that have been reinforced for me from my colleagues who serve patients:

  1. Be transparent about successes and challenges; encourage and reward team members for sharing challenges and treat them as learning opportunities.
  2. Give feedback immediately and in the moment.
  3. A team should be a safe space where each team member supports one another.
  4. The value of holding a 15-minute standing meeting every day and a team “huddle” when a situation develops.
  5. Ensure you have coverage and a back-up plan.
  6. The importance of “face-time” and being present.
  7. The need for team members to hold each other accountable and to a high standard—and not just relying on the formal leader of the team to do so.
  8. The role of gratitude cannot be overstated.
  9. Every one of these points has been helpful to our development operations and team-building at my new job.

Ask yourself…are there practices your program/mission delivery teams follow that you can adapt and use on your team or in your own work? Think about it. And if there are, let your program/mission delivery teams know and use it as an opportunity to express gratitude for the work they do every day for your mission.

Gratitude cannot be overstated.

 

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