Ways to encourage teamwork



Stage 2

Agile IQ® Level




A group is a collection of individuals who coordinate their individual efforts. On the other hand, at team is a group of people who share a common team purpose and a number of challenging goals. Members of the team are mutually committed to the goals and to each other.

“A champion team will defeat a team of champions.”

Shared responsibility is key

Team members share the responsibility for delivery, but group members don’t. Instead, groups focus on achieving the individual tasks and individual goals. Real teamwork implies [1]:

  • Collaboration over coordination.
  • Communication over ambient familiarity.
  • Acknowledgment of a common purpose.

“A team is a group of two or more people who interdependently seek to meet a common purpose, often through problem solving, in order to meet their own and their organization’s goals. At a minimum, a team should be a cooperative unit and, at its best, a team is a collaborative unit.”

Seven Core Components of the Psychology of Teamwork

According to the TESI (Team Emotional and Social Intelligence) Model, there are seven skills that will contribute to effective team functioning:

1. Team Identity

A group with a strong team identity demonstrates belongingness and connectedness, a desire to work together, and a sense of clarity around the role of each member. Groups with strong team identity also have high degrees of loyalty.

2. Motivation

A high level of motivation corresponds with the energy and responsibility levels of the team, and whether competition is working for or against the team. Having a motivated team requires knowing and meeting stakeholders’ desires, setting Sprint Goals, reinforcing success, and being persistent.

3. Emotional Awareness

A team’s emotional awareness encompasses the amount of attention the team pays to noticing, understanding, and respecting the feelings of team members. Emotional awareness is a critical factor in motivation, productivity, and a team’s ability to collaborate, making it central to the success of every team.

4. Communication

Intuitively, we know that communication is an essential factor for a group of people working together. It provides feedback and guidance on how well each of the team members listens, encourages participation, and discusses sensitive topics.

5. Stress Tolerance

A team with good stress tolerance knows how well it’s doing in managing the pressures of stakeholder demands, time constraints, and the real need for sustaimable pace and work-life balance.

6. Conflict Resolution

Assessing a team’s conflict resolution means examining how a team processes disagreement and whether the team is able to deal with adversity as a way to enhance its functioning, rather than being caught up in the conflict. It’s essential for productivity and creativity.

7. Positive Mood

A team with a positive mood has is built on foundations of encouragement, a sense of humor, and an expectation of success. Positive mood is a major factor in a team’s flexibility and resilience, and it’s the heart of a “can-do” attitude. It influences how energised the team’s attitude is.

According to this framework, the result of applying these skills is sustained productivity and emotional and social well-being for the team. Isn’t that what we all want?

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”


  • Facilitate a Retrospective to create a Team Canvas that describes and defines the team’s identity. 
  • Agree on special ceremonies to celebrate work that’s Done. Some teams use a “YES!” button, a bell, or share a special meme in their chat.
  • Create Personal Maps in a Retrospective to raise awareness of people’s abilities, experiences and desires. Return to the Personal Maps and update them yearly.


1. Catarina Lino, MAPP, Psychologist (2020)  The Psychology of Teamwork: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teams. Online at: https://positivepsychology.com/psychology-teamwork/
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