Team vs Staff

July 2, 2018 Ricki Braswell CAE

There is a distinct difference between team versus staff. Teams work together toward a shared goal while staff are a group of people who happen to work under the same management. Team members work side by side, whereas staff members work in the same space.

If you are wondering how you might transition from having a staff to working within a team, you might consider engaging with your staff to learn each person’s communication style.

Communication Can Make Your Staff Into a Team

At Pankey, we focus on four communication styles: expressive, driver, analytic and amiable. However, people are multifaceted, so they almost never exhibit just one style but instead have a mix of styles. It is this mix that makes us fascinating and gives us individuality.

Teams are made up of people who develop meaningful relationships that initially center on shared work goals. These relationships form when people get to know one another. Taking the time to go through a communication styles exercise with your team allows them to deepen their knowledge of each other. It has the added benefit of helping to identify the strengths of each person.

The Pankey team shares some similarities with practice teams. We spend most of our time working together to serve others. For us, it is the doctors who attend our courses. For you, it is your patients. In both situations the team works together but focuses on someone outside the team.

Although there is no “best” communication style, our team has found that certain styles are more conducive to certain situations. Also, in challenging situations it is often best to pair people who share the same style.

Despite the fact that there are no hard and fast rules and everyone should be treated as an individual, I’ve also noticed that there are certain predictable behaviors based on the communication styles. Our team feels that the knowledge we share about our communication styles helps us work together and serve our community better.

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About Author

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Ricki Braswell CAE

Ricki Braswell, CAE, joined the Pankey Institute as President & CEO in April 2011. A former Executive Director for National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology and The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, she has a wealth of experience in nonprofits, corporate communications, human resources, and publishing. Ricki has served on The L. D. Pankey Foundation board of directors. In 2010, Dental Products Report named her one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

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