Great Team Spirit Lays the Foundations for Success

20 Dec 2018

Great Team Spirit Lays the Foundations for Success

Dec 20, 2018

The third solid cornerstone of team work is team spirit. This cornerstone needs to be solid because the team is built on it. It lays the foundations for the team’s success.


What happens if the team spirit is weak? Everything that is built on it will be unstable. Things might work out and you would get results, but everything would be mediocre at best. This is why it is important to make sure, from time to time, that the team is working well. Usually, everything might be fine without any problems, but at the same time, you would not see growth or development. If you want to ensure that the team is at its best, you should ensure that their team spirit is on the right track.

Cornerstones of Team Spirit: Trust, Safety, Appreciation

Team members are seen as individuals, and their personalities are appreciated.

Most importantly, team spirit is based on trust: trust allows people to feel safe to express and realize their own ideas. It encourages you to keep trying and remain curious. It gives you the courage to own up to your mistakes and share your successes. In a safe, trusting team, any issues are brought up instead of sweeping them under the carpet.

Team members are seen as individuals, and their personalities are appreciated. They are given space to be themselves while working towards the same goal. Appreciation can be expressed by the small gestures we have learned in kindergarten: saying thanks and hello, giving feedback, listening to others, looking other people in the eye, etc. Being in a hurry is often used as an excuse for not doing these things, but it is also the most typical factor that eats away at appreciation. Express appreciation: look other people in the eye, listen to them genuinely, say thanks – even if you were in a hurry. All good things that you give to your team will come back to you in the form of a nice work environment. 

Good Teams Communicate

The improvement of team spirit should start from the basics: a shared vision, distinct roles, and fair and available management; understanding and acceptance of diversity; and clear communication.

Sometimes you might see teams than can communicate without saying a word. Outsiders can feel their strong team spirit without understanding their communication. In these cases, trust, appreciation, and safety have reached perfection.

However, you still need words to communicate within and outside your team. You should consider what and how to communicate, what media to use, and who to reach. In everyday interaction, you might not need to give much consideration to communication, but the more important or complicated the matter, the more you should put thought into it. As a general rule, colleagues rarely discuss important matters too much. I have never heard anyone blame their co-worker for explaining something too simply and clearly.

Good Team Spirit Can Be Seen and Heard

When visiting other companies, do you notice what kind of atmosphere they have? My opinion is that if you pay attention to it, you can, even as an outsider, draw conclusions about the quality of their team spirit.

In a good team, positivity comes naturally.

In a good team, positivity comes naturally, and it can also be felt outside the team. In one company, we helped a team to communicate more openly and fluently. We challenged them to say hello to their teammates and other teams and later on, at a more advanced stage, to give positive feedback to each other. For a short period of time, the team stood out from the rest due to its positivity, making the team seem slightly odd. But, as the team members continued doing this, their positivity spread to other teams as well. Natural positivity has immeasurable power.  


A Hundred Small Fish Can Overpower One Giant Fish

A functional team doesn’t have superstars, but rather a cheerful attitude to work. Everyone is a specialist in something. The team’s functionality and productivity are based on how well the team works together. I often compare a good team spirit to a group of fish which can be, together, bigger than a big fish.

Start improving team spirit by looking around you, saying hello, and giving feedback to others.

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

Maria Wan

Maria Wan

Service Design Consultant

Maria guides Contribyte's clients towards more interactive teams and coaches organizations to a better customer understanding. Maria has experience in designing and managing services, multicultural and international activities, and developing cross-organizational customer-orientation. On a perfect summer day, Maria can be found biking to a tennis court or observing people in a foreign environment. Maria understands customers from developers to management teams, from teenagers to grandmothers and from Finns to Samoans.

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