Modeling Teamwork between Staff and Youth
Staff members should be conscious to show youth how teamwork can be achieved through actions and words.
Staff should be expected to model social and emotional skills in order to maximize group functioning. Jennifer Freed at AHA! Attitude, Harmony, Achievement (AHA!) said:
We ask facilitators to constantly up their game in terms of modeling spontaneity, responsibility, positive attitude, accountability, and teamwork.
The essence of modeling effective teamwork skills is integrity: being an example of the qualities you espouse for the youth. Keeping one’s word is important. You mean what you say, both in terms of the commitments you make to the group and also in the caring you communicate. La’Ketta Caldwell, Senior Program Manager of Social Emotional Learning at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM), said:
We don’t just say it, we show it through our actions. When we say we’re going to do something, we do it. If we can’t, we apologize and say, “You know what, I apologize, but I’m not going to be able to do this right now. Can you give me more time?” instead of pretending like we were going to do it and just, “Oh yeah, they’ll forget.” Kids don’t forget that stuff.
However, the modeling must be done within their role as a staff member. Jennifer Freed at AHA! said:
One of the things we found out the most is we can’t be their friends. So we have a very important boundary that we maintain of being incredibly authentic and vulnerable and connected, while also being very clear that we’re not the people for them to go to. They go to each other. Our role stays as motivators and mentors but not as parents and not as therapists and not as friends. We’re facilitators of their own connections to each other.
Join the Discussion
How do you model teamwork in your organization? Do you talk about it intentionally with your youth?