“The strength of the team is each individual member and the strength of each member is the team.”

Phil Jackson

Overview

Reflective practices have always been a great way to look back on your experience and improve your actions for the future. For those who are not aware of the term reflection, it refers to an examination of one’s actions, experiences, and perspectives in order to find critical areas for improvement. Simply put, it is more like learning from the past in order to enhance future scenarios.

Reflecting on our actions or decisions is our path to enlightenment and it does add immensely to our vision and future goals. From students to employees, everyone needs to work in teams quite often in their pursuit of meeting their goals. Having said that, it is essential for you to know how to write a teamwork reflection.

This is your complete guide on writing a teamwork reflection that is inclusive of a stepwise approach to writing a reflection of your participation in a team project. Besides, the guide includes three effective examples for greater understanding. So, to begin with, let us get started with the process of writing a teamwork reflection. To assist you with a better comprehension of the writing of a teamwork reflection, every step covers the same example elaborating on the teamwork reflection of performing surgery in the operations room.

How to write a teamwork reflection in 7 easy steps

7 easy steps of writing a teamwork reflection

Step 1 - Describe the main focus of the reflection

The first and foremost step in writing a teamwork reflection is to describe the main focus of the reflection i.e. describing the experience you want to reflect upon. Along with this, you will also describe whether your reflection talks about teamwork or it is a self-reflection. To simplify, this section in-depth will talk about the whole central idea of reflection on the event including all the main aspects that contributed to the occurrence of the event. While describing the main focus of the reflection, you need to keep 5Ws and 1H in mind where 5Ws and 1H stand for

  • When -In this, you will describe the time of the occurrence of the event.

  • Where -This will focus on the location where the event took place.

  • What -Through this, you will describe what exactly happened during the event.

  • Why -While answering why, you will focus on highlighting the reasons things happened in the way they did.

  • Who -Who part will answer the question by describing which all people were involved in the event.

  • How -Lastly, you will include how everyone including you contributed to the occurrence of the event

Effectively answering the 5Ws and 1H will give you a detailed description of the whole incident you want to express in terms of an engaging reflection write-up. However, you have to ensure that the main focus of the reflection should be concise and meticulous enough that it should clearly highlight the central idea to the readers.

Main focus of the reflection

This teamwork reflection is regarding a leg surgery we performed at The Alfred last month. We needed to perform surgery on a patient who got an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury on his leg in a car accident. We were a team of 5 including nurses and doctors. The surgery was successful because everyone performed their tasks responsibly.

Step 2 - Elaborate on the objective of the project

After describing the main focus of the reflection, you are ready to move on to the next step i.e. elaborating on the objective of the whole project. Simply put, you have to describe the key objectives of the project that you wish to achieve through your teamwork.

Main Objective of the reflection

The main objective of the surgery was to rebuild the ligament with a tissue graft in order to ensure that the patient can smoothly perform his regular day to day basis tasks on his own.

Step 3 - Elucidate the responsibilities of the team

Succeeding that, you will elaborate on the responsibilities of the team in detail. To elaborate, you will effectively define which team member of your group was assigned which task. Here, you can also elaborate on the various leadership theories that were applied at the team level. Following that, you will also provide detailed information on whether your team members were successful in completing their responsibilities on an individual level and the team level.

Responsibilities of the team

We were a total of five members were responsible for performing the surgery

1. Surgeon - He was responsible for taking out the graft from other tendons in the knee or thigh areas.

2. Anesthesiologist - I was responsible for deciding the level of anesthesia that needs to be given to the patient from time to time.

3. Nurse anesthetist - She was the assistant to the anesthesiologist and was supposed to take care of the temperature of the patient and other functional changes occurring in the body.

4. Circulating nurse - He was responsible for helping the surgeon throughout the process of surgery.

5. Surgical tech - Surgical tech was responsible for ensuring that all the tools are available in the surgery room and will hand them out as per the surgeon’s instructions.

Step 4 - Highlight the status of the objective

In this section, after describing the roles and responsibilities, you will further elaborate on the status of the objective. In this section, you will highlight the correlation between the efforts of your team members and how their efforts contributed to the successful completion of your overall objective. Along with this, you will also highlight the reason why the objective was achieved or why it was not achieved.

Status of the objective

The operation was successful and we were successfully able to remove the graft from a cadaver and deposit it in the injured area. The reason that the operation was successful was that everybody knew their responsibility beforehand and the whole surgery was performed with cordiality.

Step 5 - Underline the challenges

Coming to the next step, next you will emphasize the challenges that you faced during the completion of the team task. In this, challenges will be described in both the senses mentioned below.

  • The challenges you faced at the individual level

  • The challenges you encountered at the team level.

For instance, if ethical issues proved to be a hindrance to the accomplishment of the objectives, you ought to highlight them. Underlining the challenges will assist you in further indicating the key pitfalls that would have contributed to delay or inefficient results. After this, you can significantly conduct a gap analysis that will highlight the major reason why pitfalls occurred. Results of the gap analysis will also assist you in making future strategies to avoid these challenges.

Challenges

During the surgery, we were a group of diverse teams in which the members were of different social groups. Hence, during the operation, we faced the challenge of understanding each other’s non-verbal language signs.

On a personal level, as I was an intern in nursing, I faced the challenge of coping with the senior members’ speed. They were moving really fast with every step during the surgery, so, I got a little anxious through the whole surgery.

Step 6 - Emphasize learnings

After underlining the challenges, comes another crucial step in reflection writing. In this step, you will significantly elaborate on the learnings of the whole experience. Again, one of the crucial notable points over here is that you need to accentuate both the learnings at a personal level and at the group level. Highlighting your learnings will assist you in creating a roadmap on how you can improve for the future.

Learnings

Through this surgery, we all learned irrespective of our different backgrounds, that if you have cordiality and collaboration in the team, you can carry out any major operation successfully.

Personally, I learned that with time and experience, people gradually build their speed in performing different tasks. Additionally, I also got to learn how to work professionally with a team of highly skilled surgeons.

Step 7 - Accentuate changes in future endeavors

With this, we have come to our last but definitely not the least step of the writing teamwork reflection is focusing on the changes that you will make for the future. To elaborate, lastly, you will focus on how you need to change your strategies in order to come up with more efficient results. On the other side of it, you are done with your well-written reflection on teamwork.

Future Changes

During future operations, we will ensure to cross-check whether everyone has been very well prepared for the operation and all the apparatus are available for the operations.

On the other hand, in the future, I will ensure that I come with a free mind in the operation room. Besides, if anything goes wrong, I would take deep breaths to calm myself down and continue the progress to complete the assigned task.

At last, another important consideration in writing a reflection using the above-given steps is subject to change until you are not using any particular reflection out of several prominent reflection models.

To continue, to give you a better comprehension of how to write a reflection about teamwork, we have two completely different samples of teamwork reflection. Firstly, an example of teamwork reflection will be about teamwork and collaboration in nursing. Following that, an example of teamwork reflection as a nursing student is highlighted. Lastly, an effective example of teamwork reflection in the workplace will be provided.

Group teamwork reflection examples

Example 1 - Sample of group teamwork reflection as a nursing practitioner

Sample of team reflection as a nursing practitioner

Assessment task- Teamwork reflection by nursing practitioners

For- Nursing practitioners

Task - Team reflection on the duties performed in the context of nursing practices for old age care

Working center- Berengarra Residential Aged Care Facility

Step 1 - Describe the main focus of reflection

Gone are the days when a single doctor or dentist or other health organization practitioners could solely deliver high-quality care that could easily satisfy their patients. Today, it requires a good tea to offer satisfactory service to the patients. The complexity of the care that patients need today highlights the need for health professionals to collaborate and communicate clearly with each other (Eddy, Jordan & Stephenson, 2016). We learned this through our recent experience which will be described in this reflection.

This teamwork reflection will confer our experience of taking care of old age people about a week ago. We were 4 team members that were supposed to visit Berengarra Residential Aged Care Facility and take care of old aged people. The reason that we were assigned this job was that the previously assigned team failed in performing their duty due to a lack of responsibility. Although we also faced some challenges, eventually we took care of everything and successfully performed our duty because of our collaboration and teamwork.

Step 2 - Elaborate on the objectives of the project

The main objective of this project was to effectively take care of the elderly people that need the utmost care and support because of a lack of energy to even perform basic daily tasks. Moreover, most of the people in old age care centers are suffering from worry or distress due to leaving their homes because of ample reasons such as abandonment from their homes. People living in the old age care center often experience depression and in old age. This is either the result of living alone or due to a lack of connection breakage with their culture of origin. This results in an incapacity to actively participate in the activities of the community (Singh & Misra, 2009). Hence, another objective of this project was to connect with the old age people and give them the support and care they deserve at this age.

Step 3 - Elucidate the responsibilities of the team

We were a team of 5 people and we all divided our responsibilities as per the handling of different essential activities every day. To maintain confidentiality, I will address each member as members 1, 2, 3, and 4. Team member one was responsible for the food committee and was supposed to look after all the meals in terms of their quality and the timely serving of the meals. In different old age centers, old people often lack the energy to perform daily personal tasks such as changing and bathing.

So, team member 2 was responsible for taking care of the bathing and dressing assistance of elderly people. Team member 3 was me and I was accountable for medication assistance for the elderly people and for ensuring that every patient gets their medications on time. Lastly, team member 5 was responsible for coordinating with the housekeeping team and ensuring proper sanitation at the whole place, and keeping the place disinfected.

Step 4 - Final status of the objective

After a month, we were relieved from the duty, and in our final evaluation our supervisors evaluated the place and took the feedback and we got good feedback and ratings. This implies that we were successful in achieving our ultimate goal and providing efficient service to the old age center. Secondly, we got blessings from the elderly and this indicated that we were successful in achieving the second objective of providing a satisfactory service to the old age people.

Step 5 - Highlight the main challenges

Through the whole tenure we worked at that old age center, we encountered a few challenges. Firstly, as it was a completely new place to us, So, it was challenging for all of us to adjust to the new environment. So, it took us some time to adjust to their daily routines and learn their daily routines. Besides, the last team that was in charge was accused of a lack of responsibility, so it was pressure on us to avoid that tag for us.

On a personal level, as I was in charge of medication for the patient, there were 20 patients under my supervision. Hence, it was quite challenging for me to keep a record of all the patients and the time and name of the medicines that were supposed to get delivered to the target audience. So, I took assistance from team member 1 who was in charge of the food committee. He had this tool on his iPad where he stored all the data and kept a track of all the medication easily and suggested the same to me. He assisted me effectively and we divided up the number of patients to effectively maintain the record.

Step 6 - Emphasize learnings

Through this whole experience we learned how crucial coordination and collaboration are in the healthcare sector. If we would have not divided our work or assisted each other, it would not have been possible for us to successfully take care of the old age people. It was our collaboration and trust in each other as a team that made us successful in achieving the target and getting good feedback from our superiors.

On a personal level, I learned that there will always be difficulty in handling different situations and it is always good to ask for help if needed rather than handling it all on your own and messing it up by doing it alone. Besides, I also learned that technology can be a great helping hand if used effectively.

Step 7 - Accentuate changes in future endeavors

On a team level, for the future we would ensure that we calm ourselves down and try our best to adapt and blend the environment as soon as possible to effectively work on giving the best services. Besides, we would also have frequent team meetings every day to ensure that if any team member needs any sort of help or assistance with their tasks.

On the other hand, if similar situations occur again, on a personal level, I would definitely ensure that I would learn more about different applications that can offer assistance to me in managing different records.

Example 2 - Sample of group teamwork reflection as a nursing student

Sample of team reflection as a nursing student

Assessment task -Teamwork reflection by nursing students

For -Nursing students

Task -Team reflection on the PowerPoint presentation by nursing students

Working center -University of Texas Arlington

Step 1 - Describe the main focus of reflection

I have always believed that teamwork always brings out the dreamwork. But, in order for a team to give efficient results, every team member needs to collaborate and engage in teamwork (Schmutz, Meier & Manser, 2019). I learned this through the effective experience I had in my second year of doing a Master's in Nursing with a Specialty in Nursing Administration and Management at the University of Texas Arlington. I was in a group of 5 people and we were assigned the task of creating a PowerPoint presentation.

We all agreed on the topic, “How health practitioners can support families of children with autism spectrum disorders”. All the team members together decided and made me the team leader and on their suggestion only I distributed the tasks among the teams.

Step 2 - Elaborate on the objectives of the project

There were two major objectives of this project. Firstly, we wanted to find out the different ways through which we can support families of children dealing with autism spectrum disorders. The major reason for this objective was that as nurses there often comes a time when we would have to support the families of children dealing with different disorders. While preparing for this presentation, we would understand various methods through which we can offer support to the families of children dealing with ASD.

The second crucial objective of this task was our teachers wanted us to know how to work in teams effectively. The major reason behind the same is that nursing teams are often instructed to handle a bunch of patients or wards in different sections. Learning how to work in a team would give us clarity on how we can work together effectively to get the desired results.

Step 3 - Elucidate the responsibilities of the team

We were in a group of 5 members and to maintain the confidentiality of the names, I would refer to each member as Student A, Student B, Student C, Student D, and me. While keeping in mind the capabilities and key skills of all my team members, I decided to give them the task that suited their capabilities. Student A - Student A was very good with research and had in-depth knowledge about how to find relevant and high authority-certified research papers. Besides, the topic of the presentation majorly required in-depth research about finding different ways to support families of children with ASD. Hence, student A was responsible for finding all the relevant research papers, theses, and dissertations related to the topic of the presentation.

Student B voluntarily decided to take the responsibility of digging out the relevant information because she liked reading. Once all the relevant literature had been selected, then Student B was responsible for shunting out all the relevant information that needed to be added to the PowerPoint presentation. For student C, we decided to give the responsibility of arranging the data in a presentable form. The major reason behind the same was that it was pre-decided that C might not be able to get the task done because of his interview round. So, as part of the contingency plan we decided to give student C the minimum work because even if the work doesn't get done, nobody has to bear an extra burden. Student D had a specialized certification in PowerPoint presentation so we decided to give him the duty of creating the final presentation. Me, as everybody decided, I would be the team lead so I was responsible to give the final presentation in front of the whole class.

Step 4 - Describe the final status of the objectives

Everybody in my team did proper work as per their assigned responsibilities. Although as a part of the contingency plan we decided to give student C minimal responsibilities possible he also finished his work on time before going to the interview. I believe this objective was successfully attained because we had everything planned in advance along with pre-decided responsibilities for everyone. As everyone knew what they had to do even when we faced challenges during the language barriers or lack of coordination, everybody did their part very well. However, when it was my turn to present the presentation in front of the whole class, I got a little nervous and even fumbled in some places during delivering my presentation. But in the end, we were successful in achieving the main objective of working together irrespective of some challenges we faced. Moreover, we also learn so much about how to support families of children with autism syndrome disorder.

Step 5 - Highlight the main challenges

We had to encounter various types of challenges that we had to face during this presentation. Even I personally had to experience some of the challenges. At the team level - as we were still studying under a remote structure, for the team level we faced communication challenges because there were many people who did not have high-quality internet connections in their homes. Besides, two of the team members belong to other nationalities so we also faced language barriers as a major challenge during communication with them. Language barriers in a multinational team often lead to reduced participation in team communication (Tenzer, Pudelko & Zellmer-Bruhn, 2021).

On a personal level, I am an introvert by nature and somehow also lacked confidence in public speaking. As I was the one who had to present it in front of the entire class, I was a little nervous and also thought that I would not be able to present it meticulously.

Step 6 - Emphasize learnings

Through the whole experience, on a personal level, I learned how crucial communication skills are in my nursing profession. The reason is irrespective of this presentation in the future as well I would have to interact with the families of the patient or with the patient. Hence, I have to socialize and would have to work on my communication skills as well. Good communication skill does not only rely on the physical abilities of nurses, but also on education and experience (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014).

On the team level, I gotta know that cordiality and planning are really crucial in any team for the successful accomplishment of the desired goal. Irrespective of the fact that we had a language barrier or connectivity issue, as everything was well-planned everybody did their part very well.

Step 7 - Accentuate changes in future endeavors

In the future, I personally feel that I would like to make two changes to the action plan that we followed in this experience. On an individual level, I would definitely take some of the communication skill courses from different learning apps and would even practice public speaking to socialize comparatively better to this experience. On the team level, if the situation occurs in the remote working structure again, then I would prefer to use various project management software or different applications that could help us with coordination and planning more effectively.

Example 3 - Sample of group teamwork reflection in the workplace

Sample of team reflection in a workplace

Assessment task -Teamwork reflection by employees in a workplace

For -Employees

Task -Team reflection on the achieving a target in a workplace

Workplace -AB Enterprises

The success of any workplace majorly depends on teamwork and collaboration between its employees. A group accomplishes the highest amount of accomplishments when it is completely focused on a task and completely utilizes every participant’s ability. The most important factor that impacts the success of team collaboration is trust. Without trust, the team significantly runs the risk of deteriorating over time (Bennett & Gadlin, 2012). I learned this from a recent experience I had in my company when we were assigned a task that we have to perform in a group.

Step 1 - Describe the main focus of reflection

Last month, the superiors of our AB enterprise company assigned us the target of making our website rank in the top 10 search engine results for some particular keywords in the span of 3 months. We were a total of 5 people in the marketing team that was assigned this task 4 months back. After effectively planning everything and using different strategies and tactics, we successfully achieved our target.

Step 2 - Elaborate on the objectives of the project

The main objective of this project was to convert our website into a revenue-generating website. The first step for achieving the same was it was essential that our website should rank on the first pages of the search engines. Secondly, we were a newly formed team, our employer wanted us to understand the true meaning of the team, collaboration, and trust. Hence, he assigned us this task to let us understand the true meaning of the team.

Step 3 - Elucidate the responsibilities of the team

We were a team of 5 members and out of which I was the SEO content writer with another junior content writer. Along with this, we had 2 members of the technical SEO team and 1 member was from the development team. Both of the content writers including me were responsible for creating engaging content for the website. Technical SEO members were responsible for optimizing the content and pitching for gaining backlinks in order to make the website rank higher. Besides, the responsibility of the developer was to upload the content, set the structure, and ensure that there remains no errors in the development phase so that the target can be achieved.

Step 4 - Final status of the objective

After working hard for 3 months and working overtime as well, we finally achieved the target and made our website rank for 10 keywords that were related to our niche. Moreover, when we worked together for three months as a team, we bonded and collaborated effectively to get the desired results. We trusted and assisted each other in understanding things and getting the work going so that we can achieve the target by the assigned deadline.

Step 5 - Highlight the main challenges

Throughout the whole process, we faced many challenges down the line. On a team level, the senior technical SEO got a stomach infection and was on leave for almost 15 days. In her absence, the other member faced many issues in handling the work alone. But here he asked for my assistance and for this, I had to learn about technical SEO first, and then I assisted him with all his doubts.

On a personal level, as I was leading this project, I also had other responsibilities along with writing the content. So, I faced challenges in managing my work of content writing and other responsibilities. Hence to ensure a proper balance and clear my pendencies, I did work some of the work after office hours as well.

Step 6 - Emphasize learnings

Through this whole project, we all learned that if we collaborate effectively and work together, we can easily achieve any target. Moreover, we realized that trust is really important for the successful accomplishment of the project. Trusting teams can effectively assist in enhancing cooperation and collaboration in processes. Furthermore, this will assist them in managing their interdependencies among their respective areas of expertise (Bond-Barnard, Fletcher & Steyn, 2018). We had three subteams in a bigger circle of the marketing team. None of the subteams interfered with each other’s tasks and everyone took accountability for performing their assigned tasks with utmost efficiency.

On a personal level, I learned that although we together achieved the desired results, taking over responsibilities disrupted my work-life balance and I felt stressed from time to time due to this. Hence, I learned that I need to manage my time during working hours more effectively so that I would not have to do work from home.

Step 7 - Accentuate changes in future endeavors

On a group level, in the planning phase only, we will break our bigger target into smaller ones. So that, we would effectively be able to keep track of our overall levels of accomplishments. Moreover, in the future, if similar situations occur, we would create contingency plans as well. For example, in this situation, our team member got sick, and the burden of the same was on the other members. So, we would learn little of everything from the next time onward. So that, if anything goes wrong, we would have each other’s support to handle the crisis.

On a personal level, as I have too many responsibilities to handle, I would try to delegate some of my tasks to my juniors. So that, I would be able to focus more on the tasks that need my most attention. The next time, I would also take help from various productivity and time management tools to keep a track of all time I am spending on all the necessary and unnecessary tasks.

To conclude, teamwork is an important part of the work irrespective of the industry you work in. Hence, it is really essential to look back and reflect on the incidents to learn something every time that can assist in enhancing your efficiency. Moreover, the above-given information will effectively assist you in writing a good teamwork reflection as well.

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References

Schmutz, J., Meier, L., & Manser, T. (2019). How effective is teamwork really? The relationship between teamwork and performance in healthcare teams: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 9(9), e028280. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028280

Tenzer, H., Pudelko, M., & Zellmer-Bruhn, M. (2021). The impact of language barriers on knowledge processing in multinational teams. Journal Of World Business, 56(2), 101184. doi: 10.1016/j.jwb.2020.101184

Kourkouta, L., & Papathanasiou, I. (2014). Communication in Nursing Practice. Materia Socio Medica, 26(1), 65. doi: 10.5455/msm.2014.26.65-67

Singh, A., & Misra, N. (2009). Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 18(1), 51. doi: 10.4103/0972-6748.57861

Bond-Barnard, T., Fletcher, L., & Steyn, H. (2018). Linking trust and collaboration in project teams to project management success. International Journal Of Managing Projects In Business, 11(2), 432-457. doi: 10.1108/ijmpb-06-2017-0068

Bennett, L., & Gadlin, H. (2012). Collaboration and Team Science. Journal Of Investigative Medicine, 60(5), 768-775. doi: 10.2310/jim.0b013e318250871d

Eddy, K., Jordan, Z., & Stephenson, M. (2016). Health professionals’ experience of teamwork education in acute hospital settings. JBI Database Of Systematic Reviews And Implementation Reports, 14(4), 96-137. doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2016-1843