Teamwork | Character Strength | VIA Institute

Become Aware Of Your Strength

Understand what teamwork is all about so you can begin recognizing it in yourself and others.
What is Teamwork?

Teamwork means that in team situations you are committed to contributing to the team’s success. The team could be a work group or a sports team, but it could also refer to your family, marriage, or even a group of friends working on a project together. Teamwork extends to being a good citizen of your community or country, and more broadly to a sense of social responsibility for particular groups of people or even all of humanity. In other words, the person high in teamwork applies a certain way of acting in whatever context they consider themselves committed to the good of the group as a whole. Most commonly, however, this strength refers to your being a dedicated, reliable, and contributing member to your small group or team. Teamwork is closely related to 3 other concepts:

  • Citizenship: responsibility toward one's community
  • Loyalty: unwavering trust for a group
  • Patriotism: loyalty toward one's homeland/nation without hostility toward other nations
Which virtue is this strength?
Teamwork is a strength within the virtue category of justice, one of six virtues that subcategorize the 24 strengths. Justice describes strengths that help you connect in community or group-based situations. The other strengths in Justice are fairness , leadership , and teamwork .
What the Science Says

Research findings on the benefits of the strength of Teamwork found those high in teamwork elicit and experience a higher level of social trust and have a more positive view of others. Seven team roles that can be identified through our character strength profiles include idea creator, information gatherer, decision-maker, implementer, influencer, relationship manager, and energizer. People vary in terms of which roles align best with who they are, and greater life satisfaction is associated with the degree to which a person fills the role that is most optimal to them.

Explore Your Strength

Reflect on how you’ve used teamwork in the past, in everyday life and during special or critical times.

Questions to Help You Understand Your Strength Better
  • What is most gratifying to you about being part of a team?
  • How do you feel and act when you carry more than your fair share of the weight for a team?
  • How does teamwork extend into your personal life; for example, parenting, family, partner, friendship?
Examples of this Strength in Action

Wondering about times that you may be using this strength? Here are a few examples of teamwork at work in the world.

  • When you enjoy sharing responsibility with others and working with others, you are exercising the strength of teamwork.
  • Someone close to you conveys that they are having a problem you ask them if the two of you can approach the problem together, as a team, and brainstorm, talk it through, and take action in some way together.
  • Examining the tasks facing your team at work. Offering to help with one of the elements of a task that seems to be overlooked or that a colleague is struggling with.

Apply Your Strength

How can you make the most of teamwork in your everyday life? In the moments that matter most? Here are some ideas.
  • Examining the tasks facing your team at work. Offering to help with one of the elements of a task that seems to be overlooked or that a colleague is struggling with.
  • Consider how you and your intimate partner are a "team" who can work together to solve problems. Approach your next challenge with this perspective.
  • Volunteering weekly for a community service project in your town.