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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND


Updated: Nov 21, 2023

photos of book author team

When you hear the phrase “team project” what comes to mind? Do you groan and recall awful experiences of team members who didn’t pull their weight?

Or, do you recall times you were part of a team that achieved success together after working hard toward a common goal and overcoming challenges along the way?


What we can accomplish together is nearly always superior to what we can accomplish solo. Even those who work “alone” generally have a support system of some kind helping them achieve success. We are truly better together.

In what settings have you experienced working as a team: School? Work? Sports? Professional or civic organizations? Faith-based groups? Your family? Which teams succeeded?

What characteristics describe a high-functioning team versus an ineffective one?

In Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide, we share these qualities of a successful team:

  • clear purpose and goals

  • trust

  • effective communication

  • accountability

  • the ability to successfully work through conflict

  • positive recognition of individual and team efforts toward goal achievement

A team comes together as volunteer authors

Pictured above is an amazing team that came together with a common purpose – to create a book about nutrition communication to share with current and future food and nutrition professionals.

These 57 authors contributed their individual expertise and experiences as volunteers, writing and revising while also holding down jobs and meeting other personal and professional commitments.

Before starting this project, I knew several of these people, but most I did not know until we started working together writing, reviewing, and revising. We built trust, we communicated well, and we held one another accountable. Disagreements were discussed and worked through to create a finished product everyone was proud of.

I invite you to visit the page that features this dynamic team and read more about each one:

This team represents all areas of practice – community, clinical, private practice and consulting, school food service, agriculture, media and communication, academia and extension, business and industry.

Many team members are educators of future professionals. Each one is committed to helping their fellow credentialed professionals become excellent communicators.

What is most difficult and rewarding in teamwork?

I have often been asked whether leading this team was like “herding cats.” Thankfully, no, it was not. Although not without some difficult moments, serving as editor of this book was a tremendously rewarding experience that I was so grateful not to be going through alone.

Collectively, the content in this book is so much richer and more useful than if I had penned each page. Even in chapters where I was well-versed on the topic, my coauthors added content and stories that created depth and breadth for the reader.

Not only did I learn from my coauthors I also enjoyed getting to know each one better. They are now my colleagues and friends.

Writing was the beginning of our work together. Now, we are collaborating on getting the word out about the book. We are sharing on social media, recording podcasts, presenting content in webinars together, and putting together resources for educators.

As the book is published and goes into circulation, our work will continue as we discover more and more ways to spread its message and maximize its use. As Henry Ford describes teamwork…

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford

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