Understanding Teamwork and Collegiality.
What do we mean by teamwork and collegiality among chaplains? One way to
understand it is to contrast what it is not. It is not the "Lone Ranger"
When you get to your unit, you might be tempted to isolate
yourself from other chaplains.
How does this happen?
The most prevalent
ways are outlined below:
You may be in an office in your unit area, separated by
distance from the chapel, other units and other chaplains.
Supervision. You may, contrary to what we teach, receive little or no
This can especially be true if you are assigned to a
Some commanders foster the idea that "you are my
chaplain." This might feel good. However, it could stifle teamwork
with other UMTs.
Insecurity. One's psychological make-up may stand in the way. If I
am insecure about my job, I may be less likely to let my insecurity
show by not asking questions or overcompensate by trying to do it all
Culturalization. "The American Way" may have taught us a strong sense
of individualism developed as the nation settled the western frontier.
Reinforced by sports or the drive to get the highest
grade point average in college or seminary.
Civilian Church Experience.
The "lone ranger" idea may have been
carried over from experience in the civilian parish where "building a
flock" can be highly competitive and where Ministerial Alliances may
have been no more than monthly luncheon groups.
What then does one do to overcome the Lone Ranger Syndrome?
words come to mind: initiative, intentionality, and inclusiveness.
If you are geographically separated from other UMTs or experience little
contact from your chaplain supervisor, initiate contact with other UMTs
yourself. Be intentional about fostering teamwork. Be inclusive and open
when it comes to using others as resources.
Now let's look at our working definition of teamwork and collegiality.
This is shared authority and responsibility
colleagues--collective responsibility shared by each involved.
efforts by a group working
together as a team."
(i.e. chaplains, chaplain assistant and chapel