How leadership team development is helping the Center for Interprofessional Education “walk the walk” of building better teams

Members of the Center for IPE leadership team worked under the guidance of The Marteney Group in the areas of self-mastery, social competence and leadership presence as part of a year-long effort to develop better teams.

Teamwork and building better teams are at the center of everything the Center for Interprofessional Education (C-IPE) stands for. Having leaders who are equipped to build and nurture teams is key to building successful teams, so the C-IPE decided it was time to invest in what they have long focused on. 

To support this, C-IPE partnered with Cindy Marteney of The Marteney Group to guide the leadership team, consisting of the C-IPE team and faculty co-chairs of their committees and strategic workgroups that support the Center’s strategic plan. The work of the C-IPE workgroups and committees is highly interconnected, so bringing them together as a team of leaders was critical in maintaining a unified mission through several strategic efforts. There was intentionality around the concept of the “leadership team” with both the mission in mind but also the ways in which those leaders could lean on one another and help each other with their work.  

“We are fortunate to have an incredible team of IPE leaders who come from so many different parts of our university,” shared Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., director of the Center for Interprofessional Education. “We made a deliberate decision to make this coaching investment in their individual development, but more importantly, to help us do our work together as a team. How can we be in the business of developing teams in health and health care, if we don’t walk the walk ourselves?”

Cindy Marteney presents to C-IPE leaders at a development workshop.

Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the group met regularly for a series of workshops in both virtual and in-person spaces. The program focused on the Three Pillars of Leadership — self-mastery, social competence and leadership presence. Concepts such as the Enneagram, giving feedback and “mood checks” were among the core practices the team explored. While Marteny facilitated these sessions, the work continued outside of these formal meetings as well. C-IPE leadership integrated these tools when leading weekly and monthly meetings, and participants were encouraged to incorporate the practices in their everyday work.

Participants made use of handouts and additional reading materials throughout their leadership journey.

The work culminated with a graduation event in August, where the leadership team shared their personal autobiographies. This storytelling exercise allowed participants to reflect on their individual leadership journey and bring others into their story, deepening their relationships with each other. But it was also an exercise in holding space to speak, share and lead — something that all leaders must do but few are trained to do it well.

“What was so different about this experience is that we were required to share about ourselves as people in this last session,” shared Karen Farris, Ph.D., who co-chairs the C-IPE Measurement & Research Workgroup. “When you learn about some of the personal highs and lows about your colleagues, your empathy grows. Your ability to see and hear them increases because you view them with your head and heart. This is the first leadership experience where emotion was not viewed as negative! Rather, we learned how to harness it for positive interactions and leadership. Just a great, great experience!”

The group continues to utilize the skills they’ve developed throughout the training in their own committees and strategy workgroups. Meanwhile, a second cohort of leaders are starting their leadership journey through sessions facilitated by Mangrulkar and Vani Patterson, C-IPE’s administrative director. This new group consists of up and coming leaders, including Student Advisory Committee co-chairs and faculty who are leading individual initiatives within C-IPE.

L to R: Michelle Pardee (School of Nursing), Karen Farris (College of Pharmacy) and Vani Patterson (Center for IPE) celebrate at the leadership graduation ceremony.