Teams are like wine — you can’t speed the aging or maturing process. You can only provide the best ingredients and the right environment. Most importantly, you can’t ask your team to climb mountains before they find secure footing.
“Employers increasingly look for teamwork ability when making hiring and promotion decisions. Why? The output of a team is greater than the sum of its parts. To use an analogy from sports: No basketball team would succeed if the individual members each took as many shots as they could during the game. Rather, they each play a specified role on the team, and they orchestrate their talents so that the individuals in the best position to score can do so.” (Excerpted from “Strengthening your teamwork ability” @ MyPath)
Like most worthwhile things in business, it starts with good leadership. Help others become better team players by modeling positive team behaviors. We can do this as much by what we don’t say as what we do say — for example, avoiding unsupportive language.