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Leading and Working in Teams

Teamwork and good leadership are essential to achieve high quality outcomes in the workplace. Work is complex, multi-faceted, and requires an array of talents, skills and experience to create positive and productive workplaces. Organisations are much more likely to be successful when people work together as a team, with a shared sense of purpose, harnessing their strengths effectively to achieve collective goals.

These resources will help you understand more about teams, and to reflect on the teamworking and leadership skills required to create a healthy and productive practice culture.


In this video, Dr Chris Tufnell shares his experience of building and maintaining veterinary practice teams. He discusses the importance of values, vision, and objectives for developing cohesion and embedding effective teamworking culture and behaviours.

Secrets of Successful Teamwork: Insights from Google (4 minute watch)

This short video summarises Google’s research into high performing teams, which was conducted over a three-year period.

How to turn a group of strangers into a team - TED Talk (12.58 minute watch)

Professor Amy Edmondson explores “teaming” where people come together quickly to solve new, urgent or complex problems. She emphasises the importance of leaders in demonstrating situational humility and curiosity to create psychological safety, so that people are able to speak up and participate in the problem-solving process.

Good Leadership is Contagious (1.33 minute watch)


This short video looks at the evidence that leadership behaviours are contagious and have a significant impact on a team member’s performance.

Team Leadership: John Adair's Action Centred Leadership Model (9.03 minute watch)

This video explores John Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Model. The model is helpful in clarifying the roles and responsibilities involved in team leadership in relation to three key elements, which are represented as overlapping circles: the team, the task and the individual.


Building the Best Team (24.02 minute listen)


This podcast explores team creation, communication patterns, shared values, team dynamics and the importance of diversity. It also provides insight into the use of data and analytics in creating the ‘perfect’ team.

Incivility and the impact on patient care (17 minute listen)

In this RCVS Knowledge podcast, Dr Laura Playforth and Pam Mosedale, QI Clinical Lead, discuss the evidence that incivility can have a negative impact on the practice team and adversely affect patient care and outcomes.

Articles and blogs

Toxic team cultures, and how to improve them - CMI ( (5 minute read)

This CMI article describes strategies to address toxic team culture, including how to handle toxic leadership.

How To Build A Strong Team Culture In Seven Steps ( (3 minute read)

Diana Rodriques-Zaba (2019) Forbes

This short article covers seven key steps needed to build a strong and positive team culture including elements such as values, vision, clear expectations, commitment and compassion.

Make Your Values Mean Something ( (10 minute read)

Patrick M Lencioni (2002), HBR

Patrick Lencioni discusses the power of developing authentic values statements. He distinguishes between different types of values and emphasises the importance of authenticity, ownership by leaders, consensus building and the embedding of values into everyday practices.

Shared leadership - We're better together - RCVS Knowledge (8 minute read)

Mark Turner BVSc MRes MRCVS (September 2021)

Care teams communicate better when team members feel empowered to speak up with relevant observations and suggestions. This article looks at the effects of hierarchy on the functionality of team structure and how allowing for distributed leadership can have a positive clinical outcome.

When it all goes wrong: the importance of debrief (5 minute read)

Helen Silver-MacMahon MSc (Dist.) PSCHF, Cert VNECC, Dip AVN(Surg), Cert SAN, RVN (May 2021), RCVS Knowledge

The Stop 5 or ‘Stop for 5 minutes’ is a hot debrief that occurs after a difficult or distressing event and can be led by any member of the team, whatever their role. By checking everyone is ok we can reduce the likelihood of psychological harm and deteriorating individual and team performance occurring.

Compassion - at the heart of practice - RCVS Knowledge (10 minute read)

Mark Turner, BVSc MRes MRCVS and Olivia Ogińska, MRCVS.

This article discusses how compassionate leadership plays a crucial role in shaping any workplace culture. By using overt attitudes and behaviours with positive outcomes, from individuals and teams, compassionate leadership can be achieved.

RCVS Knowledge Team huddles: time well spent (6 minute read)

Jenny Brown Bsc(Hons) BVM&S(dist) GPCert(FelPr) MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats) MSc MRCVS (December 2021)

Jenny discusses how teams that work together become more effective by having a shared understanding, and can anticipate what might cause problems and how anyone in the team can take the lead to ensure smooth communication.

Ten Characteristics Of A Real Team Player ( (3 minute read)

Liz Ryan (2017),

This article describes ten characteristics and key behaviours of effective team players.

Other materials

BVA - Good veterinary workplaces campaign

A comprehensive set of resources and information developed by the British Veterinary Association aimed at supporting the development of healthy workplaces in the veterinary profession. The resources cover health and wellbeing, diversity, equality, and inclusion, workload flexibility, reward and recognition, personal and career development, management and HR processes, and culture.

Team building - CIPD People Skills Hub

The CIPD have produced this guide to help organisations of any size develop and sustain high performing teams.

Steps in successful team building PDF (

A CMI checklist for successful team building which includes links to additional resources and related team models and theories.

Understanding employee engagement PDF (

A CMI checklist on employee engagement which includes links to additional resources.