Christian Stocker – Case Study

V-Teamwork Alumni -Christian Stocker

Job Title: Medical Director, Paediatric Intensive Care @ Queensland Children's Hospital

Why did you enrol in V-Teamwork?

As a pediatric intensive care specialist, I’d been promoted to Deputy Director of the Paediatric Intensive Care unit with no prior leadership experience. I was a highly skilled doctor, but I didn’t know how to manage my team, collaborate effectively, or communicate in a way that was clear and got people on-side.

What’s more, we were a new hospital and at that stage were in urgent need of a new operational framework. There was a huge level of collaboration involved in creating a multi-disciplinary, shared leadership to create this framework, and I knew I really needed something to show me how to lead other people at this standard!

How has V-Teamwork helped you become more effective / level up/ develop as a contributor?

It gave me a whole new self-awareness of how I communicate with people, AND a new approach for coordinating actions so that things get done. As doctors, our work doesn’t have an intrinsic communication culture - we are trained in professional skills, but not relational skills, and in high pressure situations our communication tends to be terse.

Before V-Teamwork, people said often said I rammed ideas down their throats, and my requests came out like commands - not giving people the time to reply or check what I wanted. By learning to observe myself in action, I was able to shift my communication so that my team felt valued, respected and clear in what they were asked to do. Developing other competencies, like shifting my mood and the team’s mood or providing constructive feedback in a way that has people feel empowered, has made a big difference to the cohesion within my team and the whole department. And my team have noticed the difference too –  I since had experienced staff approach me to commend my new innovative & insightful style!

How did your learning in V-Teamwork show up in your work? Can you give an example?

One of the biggest differences it made was in the operational framework meetings we held among leaders in the department. We had a weekly, multidisciplinary meeting between doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to create shared leadership that would speed up our service delivery.

Before V-Teamwork these meeting were taking 3-4 hours, and in that time we would never complete our agenda. Once I was doing the program, I saw that we needed to shift to focus onto the relationships in the team, and I saw how to create a process that worked and a concept for a solution, rather than just solving a problem. I also introduced the ‘COmmitment Loop’ framework that I learned in the program, to make sure that everything people said they would do got delivered on, so that every meeting we were moving forward. By the time I finished V-Teamwork, we would get through all our agenda in these meetings in 1.5 hours!


The success in these meetings has given us a big picture strategy and a strong base of leadership. Staff are clear about what to do and how to do it, which creates much less friction.

Why V-Teamwork? What makes it different from other leadership programs out there?

It’s condensed, it’s pragmatic, and it’s efficient and hands-on. Most other training that’s actually made a difference to me takes a lot of time: you have a syllabus, you have tests and you have to get qualifications. But with V-Teamwork, I didn’t need a degree to be a good leader – two weeks into the program I’d hit the ground running and was already putting things into practice at work! And it makes a big impact.

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