Team Thinking

 Team thinking is considering others and their opinions and needs before making a decision

I’ve been part of a family for my entire life, most of us are.

Being in a family teaches team thinking skills, even when the family has dysfunction. Team thinking is considering others and their opinions and needs before making a decision. It doesn’t mean submitting to another’s will but it does mean finding out and knowing what other people would choose and taking that into consideration when making your own choices.

Many years ago a family friend died after eating a wild plant that turned out to be poisonous. My son asked each of us, in his family, not to eat plants growing in the wild, and we all agreed. This is team thinking. It can be individually overruled but I could never again eat a wild plant while hiking and not have considered my son’s request.

In a dysfunctional family situation, one can learn the skill of team thinking even when the purpose is self protection or preservation. My adopted son grew up with a mom who was an addict. As a child, he had to consider her limitations when she was drugged out. She was a dysfunctional part of his team and he had provide himself care.

Whether one has experienced team thinking in a positive or negative situation, the skill can get developed and be used when we are sick or caring for someone with illness or disease.

It is much more useful to attend a doctor’s appointment with someone on your team rather than by yourself. You can listen with full attention and the person with you can take notes. Afterwards, you have someone to discuss it all with and will be able to make more informed choices.

Once, my father had a pulmonary doctor’s appointment and my mom, sister and I all attended it with him. The doctor wanted to do a bronchoscopy procedure. Dad had done that procedure before and almost died from it. The three of us on his team were able to impress upon the doctor the terrible effects from before and Dad was able to remain in compliance with the doctor instead of being the argumentative patient. The doctor found another way to treat him and he was spared the bronchoscopy.

When a sick person has a team to work with, they become more empowered to make their choices known, taking all the pieces and putting them together into a plan they believe in. When doctors are part of the team, and know the choices are not all up to them, they are also empowered to be creative in finding solutions that best fit the patient.

Shared responsibility is equivalent to being metaphorical pillars with load bearing and stabilizing functions for a building, only we are pillars on a team bearing the load and stabilizing our team member who is facing illness or disease. What teams have you been on?

2 thoughts on “Team Thinking

  1. You thoughts on wellness and team support are spot on.

    I think sometimes people who are struggling with illness in their life feel that wellness is not an option for them

    But when you, as a team member, can help them see the small pleasures in their life, then they can start to realize that their life has joy, which is a big part of wellness.

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