Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Encouraging Teamwork



For every team member that believes and works for the team the chances of success go up exponentially. That is the reason why it is so important in teamwork and team building, as it provides a greater chance of success.

Some Things to Do to Encourage Teamwork

  • Promote an active learning climate for the team
  • Try to relate the team building strategies to the team’s work
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies
  • Constantly evaluate both your output and your process. In short, ask regularly, "How are we doing?

Some Things to Avoid

  • Being aggressive -- instead of assertive
  • Failing to let others express their opinions
  • Inadequate planning

Some Things to Consider About Teamwork

Encouraging teamwork means making a commitment, and requires practice. The process is not instant and take some time, so be patient. Do not be discouraged by mistakes, learn from them.

Collaborative Teamwork

Related: Cooperation Outcome Based Team Building Activities

To overcome significant challenges, excellent teamwork is required. When you face challenges as a team, the one quality that is most valuable in a team member is the ability to collaborate with other team members. Collaboration is more than just working together with one another. Whereas cooperation is working together agreeably, collaboration can be described as working together aggressively. In a collaborative effort, each team member brings value to the team. The sum of collaborative teamwork is always greater than its parts.

Do you see yourself as a collaborative team member? You may not be working against the team, but that does not mean you are working for it. Do you bring cooperation and added value to your team?

Team Members are Collaborators, not Competitors

In any team there is the potential for competition because all people have their goals, hopes and dreams that they want to achieve. Collaborative team members are more interested in completing others than competing with others. For a team to work together effectively, competition within the team must never reach a point where it hurts the team.

Read more about collaborative teamwork

The Importance of Communication in Teamwork

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

You cannot have teamwork without communication. Without communication between each other, your team will not function as a team but as a collection of individuals. In order to have an effective team, it is essential to have communicative team members.

Characteristics of Communicative Team Members

  • Communicative team members do not isolate themselves from other team members. When one of the members of a team isolates themselves from the others, it creates problems for the team. This problem escalates when entire sections of the team isolate The more team members know about each other, the more they will understand each other and the more they will care. Team members with passion and information and connection are powerful assets to the team.
  • Communicative team members make it easy for other team members to communicate with them. Most communication problems in a team can be solved with proximity. Strong leader and effective team members not only stay connected with other team members, but they also ensure that the other team members can connect with them.
  • Communicative team members follow the 24-hour They do not avoid contact with those team members with whom they are in conflict. When they have any difficulty or conflict with another team member, they do not let 24 hours go by without addressing it. The sooner you communicate with the person you are in conflict with, the better it will be for you and your team.
  • Communicative team members give attention to potentially difficult relationships. Relationships need attention to thrive. This is especially true for a relationship between two people where there is potential for conflict.
  • Communicative team members follow up important communication in writing. The more complicated the communication, the more important it is to keep it clear and simple. This often means putting it in writing. When you have something important to communicate to other team members, it is easier to keep everyone on the same page if it is written down for everyone’s benefit.

Read more about the importance of communication in teamwork

The Importance of Commitment in Teamwork

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

People often have a tendency to associate commitment with emotions. They will follow through on something if they feel right about it. Real commitment is not based on emotions but is a character quality that helps you reach your goals. Where emotions changes and go up and down, commitment has to remain solid. A solid team is made up out of team members with a solid commitment to the team.

Commitment is Discovered in Adversity

You find out how committed the members of your team are when the team faces adversity. Struggles often strengthen a team’s resolve. Adversity promotes commitment and commitment in turn, promotes hard work. The more work a team puts into a project, the less likely they are to give up. Committed team members do not give up easily.

Commitment is not Dependent on Gifts or Abilities

Commitment does not automatically come with talent. You have to connect your gifts and abilities with commitment. Too many highly talent individuals squander their potential because they do not commit. Team members do not always underperform because they lack ability or opportunity, but because they are not using what they already have. If you commit to using the talent you already have, you will find that you have more talent and more to offer the team.

Read more about the importance of commitment in teamwork

The Importance of Tenacity in Teamwork

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

As a team member, how tenacious are you? Do you keep on trying when the rest of the team wants to give up? If you find that you sometimes give up before your other team members, it is time to work on increasing your tenacity. Having team members that are tenacious is crucial to the success of a team. A team member may lack in talent but with a tenacious spirit they will always contribute to the success of the team.

Qualities of Tenacious Team Members

  1. They give all they have, not more than they have. Often team members lack tenacity because they think tenacity will demand more from them than they have to give. Having tenacity requires that you only give 100%, not more but not less either. When you give your all, you give you and your team every possible opportunity for success.
  2. They work with determination and do not wait for destiny. A tenacious team member does not depend on luck, fate or destiny. They keep working hard even when circumstances are difficult. Just because times get trying, it does not mean you should quit trying.
  3. They stop when the job is done, not when they are tired. A team member with tenacity pushes beyond what they think they can do to find out what they are really capable of doing. The tenacious team member hangs on until the job is finished.

Read more about the importance of tenacity in teamwork

The Importance of Selflessness in Teamwork

If you want to contribute positively towards the success of your team, it is important that you place others ahead of yourself. You have to be willing sometimes to take the backseat to other team members. Teams only succeed when its team members are prepared to place other team members above themselves. Being selfless is not always easy but it is a vital part of teamwork.

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Generosity

  • Be Generous. Generosity is at the heart of selflessness that unites and advances the team. A team is well placed for success when it consists of team members that are willing to give of themselves generously for the cause of the team.
  • Avoid Internal Politics. Playing politics on the team is one of the worst forms of selfishness. It usually includes posturing and positioning for your benefit regardless of how it may damage the team’s relationships. Selfless team members are more concerned about other team members benefitting than how they can benefit themselves.
  • Display Loyalty. Only when you show loyalty to other members of the team, can you expect loyalty from them. If you put yourself on the line for your team they will work hard for you and complete the tasks you give them, even in challenging circumstances. Loyalty fosters unity and unity leads to team success.
  • Value Interdependence over Independence. Independence is valuable as it often leads to hard work, innovation and the willingness to stand for what is right. But the independence taken too far has the characteristics of selfishness, especially when it harms or hinders other members of the team.

Read more about the importance of selflessness in teamwork

The Importance of Relationships in Teamwork

To be successful, a team needs its team members to be relational and work at building healthy relationships. The more robust the relationships between team members, the more the team will operate as a unit. Healthy relationships are the glue that keeps a team together.

Respect in Relationships

Respect is the most important beginning point in any relationship. Respect can be defined as the desire to place value on others. You cannot truly show respect to someone if you privately feel that they do not have any value. Where respect often needs to be shown before a person does anything to earn it, you should expect to have to earn your respect from others. Respect from others is earned the quickest when you face and overcome challenges.

Shared Experiences

It is not possible to build a relationship with someone you do not know. To build relationships within a team, it requires shared experiences among the team members over time. Constantly having new team members coming into the team means less shared experiences that are essential for the success of the team.

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The Importance of Preparation in Teamwork

If your team is well prepared, the battle is half-won. In this article, we will be looking at some of the ways you can ensure that your team is prepared for success.


The first step towards being well prepared is knowing for what you are preparing. Determine where the team is headed and examine what the conditions will be along the way. It is also vital to assess the price that the team will have to pay to get there.


The team may know where they are going, but they will never get there if they are not lined up with their goals. Active alignment is essential for the success of the team. It is not just about working hard, but it also important for the team to be doing the right work.

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The Importance of Enthusiasm in Teamwork

When it comes to teamwork, there is no substitute for enthusiasm. When the members of a team are enthusiastic, the whole team becomes highly energized. While apathy increases excuses in the team, enthusiasm increases the accomplishments of the team.

Characteristics of team members with an enthusiastic attitude to teamwork

  1. They take responsibility for their own enthusiasm.
    Winning teams are made up out of team members that know that an enthusiastic attitude is a choice. Waiting for external forces to spark your enthusiasm will always place you at other people’s mercy. Positive team members are positive because they choose to be. If you want to be a positive person, you will have to take the responsibility for being that way.
  2. They act their way into feeling enthusiastic.
    You cannot win at anything in life if you do not begin. You cannot break the cycle of apathy by waiting to feel like doing something. You have to act your way into feeling enthusiastic. Do not wait for the right motivation to get you going but take action no matter how small or insignificant the action If you want to be enthusiastic, then start acting that way. If you are waiting first to feel enthusiastic, you are likely never to become enthusiastic.
  3. They spend time with enthusiastic people.
    You can increase your enthusiasm just by hanging around enthusiastic Enthusiasm is contagious. Put a whole team of enthusiastic people together, and the possibilities for that team are endless.
  4. They believe in what they do.
    One of the best ways to increase your enthusiasm towards your work is to think about all the positive aspects of your work. Believing in what you are doing and focusing on the positive aspects will help you act and speak positively about what you are doing. Thinking positively about your work will spark the flame; you just need to keep the fire going.

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The Importance of Discipline in Teamwork

Discipline can be defined as doing those things that you do not want to do so that you can do the things that you really want to do. It is paying the price in the little things so that you can obtain the bigger things. In the same way that no individual can succeed without discipline, no team can be successful without discipline.

Team Members Need  Discipline in Three Areas

  1. Disciplined Thinking: You need disciplined thinking if you want to get anywhere in live. You can develop disciplined thinking by keeping your mind active, regularly taking on mental challenges and continually talking about the right things.
  2. Disciplined Emotions: You can either master your emotions or be mastered by them. Mastering your emotions does not mean you have to turn off your feelings. You master your emotions by not allowing them to prevent you from doing what you should do or doing what you should not.
  3. Disciplined Actions: It is actions that separate winners from losers. Whenever a team member practices disciplined actions, other people that depend on them, benefit.

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The Importance of Dependability in Teamwork

Dependability in team members is essential to the success of any team. Everybody in the team knows which of the team members are not dependable. Conversely, everyone on the team knows which team members they can rely on.

Qualities of Dependable Team Members

  • Pure Motives: When it comes to teamwork, the motives of the team members matter greatly. As team leader, you need to keep your motives right and encourage your team members to do the same. Undependable team members are usually those who place themselves and their agendas ahead of what is best for the team.
  • Responsibility: Dependable team members have a strong sense of responsibility. While motivation refers to why people are dependable, responsibility indicates that a team member wants to be dependable.
  • Sound Thinking: To be of real value to the team, dependable team members are not only willing to take responsibility but they also exercise sound judgment.
  • Consistent Contribution: A dependable team member is a consistent team member. If you cannot depend on a team member all of the time, you cannot depend on them any of the time. Consistency is more than talent. Consistency requires depth of character which enables a team member to follow through no matter the circumstances.

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The Importance of Adaptability in Teamwork

Personal rigidity does not mix well with teamwork. As a member of a team, you need to adapt yourself to others in order to be a good team player. Team players that are adaptable are teachable, emotionally secure, creative, and service minded.

Adaptable Team Players Are Teachable

An adaptable team member places a high priority on breaking new ground and is highly teachable. If you are highly skilled in one area, you can use and adapt those skills to new projects. This approach will only work for those team members that are teachable. Team members who are not teachable have a difficult time dealing with change and, as a result, they never adapt well.

Adaptable Team Players Are Emotionally Secure

Everything is a challenge or a threat to the team member that is not emotionally secure. They will tend to react with rigidity and suspicion when another talented person is added to the team, there is a change in their position, or a change in the way things are done. An emotionally secure team member is not nervous by the change. They can evaluate the new situation and change their responsibilities based on its merits.

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Quotes to Inspire Teamwork

Teamwork is an essential part of everyday life. You are often expected to be a functional part of a team whether at home, participating in sport or at work. When every member works for the team and works together as a team, the team’s chances of success increases. Each team member brings his or her own unique skills to the team, making available a diverse range of resources for the team.

We have put together the following quotes to inspire your team to a higher degree of teamwork:

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
– Mother Teresa

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.”
– Brian Tracy

Read more quotes to inspire teamwork


More Team Building Articles

Defining a Successful Team
Types of Teams
The Forming Stage of Team Development
The Storming Stage of Team Development
The Norming Stage of Team Development
The Performing Stage of Team Development
Effective Team Building Activities
Making the Most of Team Meetings
Solving Problems as a Team
History of Team Building
Team Building Coordinators and Facilitators 
Benefits of Team Building
Types of Team Building Excercises
Team Building Methods
What is Team Building?