Teamwork and Collaboration, Emotional Intelligence, and the Lifelong Colleague Commitment

Looking out my office window, it is not uncommon to see skeins of geese flying by. A lot can be learned about teamwork and collaboration from watching geese. Geese fly in a V-formation because the flapping of wings of the geese in front creates updraft for the geese that follow, making it easier for them to fly. On long flights, after the lead goose has flown in front for a while where flying is most strenuous, it drops back to take a place in the V and another goose takes over the lead position. While in flight, the geese in the rear of the formation reassuringly ‘honk’ to show support and to encourage the goose leading the formation. Through teamwork and collaboration, geese as a group can accomplish much more than an individual goose could achieve on her own.

The interrelationship of geese in flight provides a great example for how teams can work together in an institution. Productivity and efficiency of a team is determined by the coordinated efforts of all its members, and effective teams always outperform even the best individual performance. Leadership responsibilities are often shared as teams develop over time, and loyal support of the current leader will ensure that the team continues to move forward. No member of a team should feel devalued or unappreciated as all are integral to the success of the team. Mutual encouragement and appreciation should be regularly extended as each member of the team works to fulfill team goals through amplified individual effort.

Roseman University is a wonderful example of an institution where teamwork and collaboration are on full display and where group synergy is a prevailing trait in the pursuit of collective goals. Looking out for one another, sustaining those in leadership positions, sharing responsibilities, and advocating ardent participation in pursuit of institutional objectives are principles of Emotional Intelligence and are fundamental characteristics of Roseman University’s Lifelong Colleague Commitment. Teamwork and collaboration are the framework upon which Roseman University’s own “V-formation” has taken flight, this ‘V’ standing for victory in academic excellence.

L. Kris Munk, DDS, MS

Roseman University Associate Dean of Graduate Education