As I watched Monday night football I heard the announcer comment that the quarterback and his receivers weren’t on the same page. The receivers weren’t running the routes that the quarterback thought they should be running.
Teams spend hours and hours preparing for their games. They watch film, they practice, and they have meetings to discuss their game plan.
We should be preparing the same way in the Collaborative Process. Probably the most important meeting in the Collaborative Process is the professional team meeting held at the very start of the case. This meeting should establish the ground rules, determine everyone’s role and gain an understanding of how your teammates work.
At the IACP Forum in Chicago this month I, along with other members of the IACP Ethical Standards committee presented a three-hour seminar on “The Ethics of Collaborative Practice with Teammates Unknown and Well-Known.” Our focus was on that first team briefing in which the team charts its course.
Below is a Collaborative Professional Teamwork Checklist distributed at our seminar. This checklist was based on work done by Mark Weiss, JD and the Seattle Collaborative POD. It is a great guide for not only that first professional team pre-brief but can also be a great resource for helping solve problems that come up during the case.
We did a demonstration of such a meeting with the expectation that we would cover at least a few of the concepts and ethical issues in the checklist. We had not rehearsed as we thought it would work better naturally. All of us were experienced Collaborative professionals but none of us had ever worked together on a case before. After we completed the short demonstration, we realized that we had naturally covered almost a third of the checklist items without even trying.
I encourage you to utilize this checklist as a reminder of those issues that need to be addressed. Share it with your teammates and see how much it helps.
And as always, I invite your feedback.