Bradley, C.L., Jeter, E., Lee, S. & Cooper, J.B. (2021). Impact of a teamwork and conflict management workshop on growth mindset and team communication. Manuscript for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, 1-12.
Background & Theory:
There is a heavy reliance on successful team communication in the healthcare industry, as it allows for providing safe and effective care of patients. However, just putting people together in teams does not necessarily equal good teamwork. This study looks at the role of workshops on teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution in helping increase pharmacy students’ growth mindset and team communication.
Research was conducted by Courtney L. Bradley et al. to answer the following questions:
- What is the impact of a teamwork workshop on growth mindset and team communication?
A teamwork workshop was given to two cohorts of students enrolled in an “Introduction to Pharmacy Practice” class and a laboratory class at High Point University’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. This study was conducted over a period of three years, with students enrolled in these classes in fall of 2017 as a control group (68 students) and students enrolled in these classes in fall of 2018 and 2019 as intervention groups (106 students).
The workshop itself started with students completing a StrengthsFinder assessment. Student groups were created from the results of this assessment by balancing strengths in the four StrengthsFinder domains. The workshop lasted around seven weeks and included a lecture on recognizing strengths, another lecture on communication and conflict resolution, and corresponding team activities that complemented the lecture topics. The students filled out pre-post surveys based on the previously validated Growth Mindset and Team Communication tool. Qualitative data was additionally collected on student teamwork experiences in the fall 2017 and 2018 student groups.
After analyzing the data, the authors found that the intervention groups experienced a significant increase in growth mindset compared to the control group’s non-significant decrease in growth mindset. A significant increase in team communication was also demonstrated by the intervention group. The control group’s level of team communication did not change significantly.
The qualitative data additionally suggested that the intervention groups benefited from the team workshop. Responses from the intervention groups included a balance of positive and mixed attitudes about their teamwork experience, suggesting that these students were prepared to overcome challenges and maximize benefits from teamwork. Responses from the control group on teamwork experience were primarily positive, suggesting a lower awareness of the team process in comparison to reflecting on a semester-long workshop.
What We Can Learn:
Looking over this research, we can take away the following key insight:
- Industries like the pharmaceutical industry often necessitate good teamwork from employees. This study demonstrates that intervention workshops on teamwork and communication may be helpful to these employees, as they can raise self-reported team communication ability.
For Consultants: This study affirms the work many consultants do—workshops on communication and conflict resolution lead to beneficial outcomes in team communication and growth mindset.
For Everyone: If you are experiencing team dysfunction in the workplace, consider incorporating communication skills training to help improve team communication.