What Makes a Winning Team?


When we hear the word “team,” our mind quickly jumps to sports. In the current midst of winter sports (think: basketball, hockey), the post-Super Bowl buzz, and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, it’s no wonder why. A team, however doesn’t have to be limited to groups performing physical activities. As defined by Merriam Webster, a team is “a number of persons associated together in work or activity.” By this definition, a team could be your group of friends, your family, and/or your coworkers.


In regards to sports, we know what it means to win. One team scores more points or goals than the other. What does winning look like for our other teams, though? How would we recognize a winning team at work, if there are no clear competitions or points?

Two huge factors in any relationship are communication and trust. First, in order for a sports team to win, they must have the same goal that was communicated ahead of time: they all want to win. Then, they have to trust each other. They have to trust that they will be able to win while working alongside their teammates. Without this common goal and without having faith in one another, a team will not win. If you only trust one teammate to pass the ball to, you won’t get very far. The entire team has to work together.

The same goes for teams in the workplace. You have to communicate with your team, and you have to trust them. Tell your coworkers what it is you want them to accomplish, and make your goals clear so that you know you’re all on the same wavelength. If you don’t trust your coworkers to complete a task or you feel the need to micromanage them to ensure that the job gets done, this is going to delay your team and set you back (and no one wants a false start).

If you consider your personal relationships, those, too, should be based on communication and trust. We make lunch plans with friends because we are confident that they will follow through. We confide in family because we are confident that they will be loyal.

Regardless of what team or teams you belong to, know that strong foundations of communication and trust are sure to advance your team to the winning bracket.