Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 110

for teams that operate under arduous conditions.13 The authors describe the emergency department as a “high-risk environment for patients and clinicians that demands colleagues work together as a cohesive group.”14 The findings indicated that poor team communication was the most common root cause of errors in health care. Additionally, the findings indicated that a concentration of communication was occurring between groups (or cliques) of teammates. The authors further highlighted that many safety-related health programs focus on improving communication.15 Aside from its importance for task performance, effective communication and cohesion are also tied directly to individual and unit resilience. Paul T. Bartone’s 2006 research discusses resilience and the ability of leaders to influence hardiness in subordinates.16 According to Bartone, the first of six primary stressors that define military operations is isolation. A further explanation of this stressor is described as follows: “Soldiers deploy to remote locations, far away from home, separated from their families, frequently without good tools or methods for communicating … often surrounded by coworkers that are new to them.”17 Unsurprisingly, communication seemed vital to a leader’s ability to shape how subordinates framed a stressful experience. The “leader who, through example and discussion, communicates a positive construction or reconstruction of shared stressful experiences, may exert an influence on the entire group in the direction of his or her interpretation of experience.”18 While the article does not specify what communication channels were used to instill hardiness, it is a reasonable assumption that direct, active contact under these circumstances would be most effective. Technology and Communication in the Army Like the other military branches, the Army has become heavily reliant on technology to conduct daily operations. Jokes about the Army’s overdependence on Microsoft Outlook and PowerPoint are common at all levels of headquarters. This not to say that the adoption of technological communication tools is entirely negative; many technologies have enhanced the force’s operational effectiveness. Technology has greatly improved commanders’ abilities to understand their operational environments, communicate orders