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As an avid fan of football, basketball, and baseball, I read plenty of sports articles. And no matter what game, or what team, there is typically one line that is used to describe why a team won – “they played as a team”.

While that line may not seem like a big deal, it is actually a pretty high compliment. After all, it is not easy to get a bunch of rich, talented players to forgo egos to play together as one team.

When a team wins because “they played as a team,” the credit is usually due to the leadership style of the team’s coach. Many times the success of a coach depends on how well the team works together and what the performance is on the court. It’s really not that different in the business climate, where many managers strive to make teamwork a core value in an organization’s culture.

In the modern workplace, teamwork can produce incredible results. As awarding as the team approach can be, fostering a team environment is sometimes a challenge. The size of the team to interpersonal dynamics can all affect how well the team will work together. Like many aspects of an organization’s culture, good teamwork begins with the managers.

So if you want your team to, well, “play like a team,” keep these development tips in mind.

· Allow staff meetings to be team-building sessions, with open brainstorming and problem solving.

· Match crucial assignments and team members so: (1) assignments challenge the team members, and (2) the likelihood of success is great.

· Ask your team members for their input and their different approaches to reach a goal that may have been set by someone outside the team. Use a variety of ways to reach consensus: discussion/persuasion, majority rule, or predicted outcomes and consequences of recommended actions.

· If you want to encourage teamwork, recognize the team for its successes. Make it clear that active involvement is a valued and necessary component for a functioning team. Publicly reward active team players.

Tell us, how do you build a team environment?

Photo credit: Bleacher Report