How to Build a Team Mentality

By: | Updated: February 12, 2024

You found our guide on how to build a team mentality.

A team mentality is the shared mindset of a group of colleagues working toward a common goal. Also known as a team first mentality, a team mentality involves cooperation, collaboration, and utilitarianism. Understanding this practice is important because workforces can more easily overcome challenges, achieve success, and rely on each other.

These ideas are examples of relationship building activities and effective team management skills.

This article covers:

  • definition of a team mentality
  • how to build a team mentality
  • team mentality models
  • team mentality quotes

Let’s get started!

Definition of a team mentality

Team mentality refers to the a team member’s effort towards achieving the set goal as opposed to individual interests. A workforce with a team mentality must showcase a positive attitude and a willingness to work together. Team members must also show commitment, accountability, and responsibility for their actions. To achieve a team mentality, every participant must portray mutual respect, a focus on the collective goal, and open communication.

While a team mentality is a sure way to unite a workforce and support every participant, it is not an overnight success. Organizations may need help creating and maintaining a team mentality, often necessitating intervention from external forces.

How to build a team mentality

Building a team mentality is one of the most important aspects of a successful organization. However, it takes deliberate action to bring teams together. You can follow these actionable tips on building a team first mentality and witness increased cohesion, efficiency, and productivity.

Here are ways to build a team mentality:

1. Start by clarifying your goals

It is easier for workforces to build a team mentality with clear direction and set goals. As a team leader, you must ensure that every participant understands the goals from the very beginning. Also, do not have any unclear details. Otherwise, you leave an avenue for mistakes, doubts, and misunderstandings.

2. Lead by example

If you want your workforce to build a team mentality, then you must lead by example. Rather than focusing on the theory of building a team mentality, your workers are more likely to follow your actions. For instance, as a leader, we encourage you to be prompt in helping your employees in their daily tasks and also work alongside team members.

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3. Build trust among teammates and company leadership

Trust is one of the most important aspects of a happy and productive work environment. However, employees often experience competition in the workplace, which can create an unhealthy atmosphere. You can start by recognizing that trust builds over time and is not an overnight success. Then, build a solid workplace foundation that discourages damaging behaviors, such as backstabbing and unhealthy office chatter. Finally, as a leader, keep your promises and maintain privacy where needed.

Check out this list of trust building activities.

4. Clarify the responsibilities of each participant

A team mentality follows the ideology that every participant plays their part. Thus, team leaders must clarify the roles and responsibilities of each employee. Having an open communication strategy ensures that participants understand their duties clearly. Team members will also learn how to collaborate and get necessary support from their peers.

5. Focus on a fun work environment

Regardless of your work culture, you are more likely to have better results if you focus on a fun work culture. A work culture concentrating only on performances, evaluations, and results will likely demotivate team members. You can help your workforce loosen up and interact with their peers through regular fun activities. For instance, holding team building activities, even during work meetings, can foster a team mentality.

For inspiration, check out this list of ways to have fun at work.

6. Motivate your team with positive reinforcements

One key way organizational leaders can foster a team mentality culture is by motivating team members with positive reinforcements. Rather than rewarding one employee, we advise you recognize the whole group. For instance, you can reward the entire team for reaching a significant milestone. However, if you want to encourage healthy competition, then you could recognize each team player’s individual contributions.

For inspiration, check out this list of employee recognition program ideas.

7. Avoid micromanagement

As a team leader, you may often feel the need to take all matters at hand and gain control of all aspects of the business operations. While the leadership position is vital in the growth of an entity, we advise that you check in regularly but avoid micromanaging your team. Giving your team the autonomy to work with regular check-ins will boost trust between leadership and employees. Avoiding micromanaging will also encourage team members to rely on each other and seek guidance when needed.

Here is a list of ways to deal with micromanagement.

8. Encourage inclusivity and diversity

To enhance creativity and problem-solving among team members, you must capitalize on a diverse and inclusive workforce. A diverse team will bring a range of perspectives and experiences to the table that can foster a team mentality. We advise that you make an effort to create an inclusive and welcoming environment in consideration of the needs of your workforce. For instance, you could encourage inclusivity and diversity by hiring diverse teams, promoting pay equity, and eliminating unconscious bias. A diverse and inclusive workforce plays a huge role in building teamwork and the overall success of an entity.

Here is a list of diversity and inclusion ideas.

9. Ensure participants have an avenue to provide feedback

If you want to improve the performance of your team, then be sure to provide avenues for open feedback from all participants. It is important to be available for both good and bad feedback and welcome suggestions with a positive attitude. In case of disapproval, remain respectful and discuss the best course of action.

Regular feedback will create a sense of value  in the organization. Employees will also get a feel of company ownership, especially in instances where organizations implement the suggestions.

Taking in team members’ feedback is a clever way to show appreciation for your workforce. Your team will also gain confidence in their work and increase work satisfaction.

Here is a guide to open door policies.

How to build a team mentality: Final thoughts

Building a strong team mentality requires sustained effort and commitment to creating a positive and collaborative team culture. With these strategies, organizations can foster a sense of unity and shared purpose among their teams and enhance performance.

Team mentality models

Team mentality models are frameworks that explain and develop the shared mindset and attitude of a group working toward a common goal. These models seek to explain how individual team members’ behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics impact the team as a whole as well as how the team’s culture and structure can facilitate or hinder effective teamwork.

Here is a list of some of the most popular team first mentality models and how organizations can use these approaches to help teams work more effectively.

1. GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness

Developed by Richard Beckhard, the Goals, Roles, Processes, Interpersonal relationships model is a framework for understanding and improving team effectiveness.

The model focuses on four key factors that are essential for effective teamwork:

  • Goals: The team must have a clear and compelling purpose with well-defined goals that align with the overall mission and vision of the organization.
  • Roles: Each participant must understand their role within the team and how it contributes to the group’s overall goals.
  • Processes: The team must have effective processes in place for decision-making, problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution.
  • Interpersonal relationships: The team must have a positive and trusting culture with good interpersonal relationships.

With these four factors in place, teams are more likely to achieve their goals effectively. To improve team effectiveness, organizations can use the GRPI model as a framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and identifying areas for improvement.

​Learn more about the GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness.

2. Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

As one of the earliest and most influential team mindset models, Tuckman’s stages of group development model explains vital team growth phases. This model outlines the stages of growth that force teams to find solutions to their problems, plan their work, and deliver results.

The model outlines the four stages of team formation, which are forming, storming, norming, and performing.

  • The forming stage: Team members seek to avoid conflict. Hence, participants are typically polite and tentative with one another as they seek to establish relationships and understand the team’s purpose and goals.
  • The storming stage: This stage is characterized by conflict and tension as team members fight for positions and seek to establish their roles within the team. Team members in the storming stage also experience power struggles and a lack of clarity and progress.
  • The norming stage: Workforces display increased collaboration and cohesion as team members begin to work together more effectively and establish shared norms and expectations. Team members also develop routines and set task milestones.
  • The performing stage: This stage is characterized by flexibility among team members as participants adapt to meet the needs of others. This stage is highly productive, both professionally and personally.
  • The adjourning stage: This stage involves the display of behaviors resulting from the termination of tasks. Observable behaviors may include restlessness, signs of grief, sadness, or slowdowns.

According to Tuckman, teams typically go through these stages in sequential order. However, team members may not necessarily progress through all four stages or can revisit earlier stages at different points in their development.

​Learn more about Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development.

3. The Hackman Model

The Hackman model, also known as the Job Characteristics Theory, is a framework that seeks to understand how different job characteristics impact employee motivation, satisfaction, and performance.

​According to the model, five core job characteristics contribute to worker motivation and engagement:

  • Skill variety: The opportunity to use various skills and abilities on the job.
  • Task identity: The opportunity to complete a whole and identifiable piece of work.
  • Task significance: The sense that the job has a meaningful impact on others or the organization.
  • Autonomy: The degree to which the worker has control over their work and decision-making.
  • Feedback: The opportunity to receive clear and timely feedback on their performance.

The Hackman model also proposes that these core job characteristics lead to three critical psychological states in workers. These include experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for the outcomes of the work, and knowledge of the actual results of the work. These psychological states, in turn, lead to increased intrinsic motivation, satisfaction, and performance. Organizations can use the Hackman model to assess and improve the design of jobs and work environments and increase employee motivation and engagement.

​Learn more about the Hackman Model.

4. The Lencioni Model

The Lencioni model, also known as the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, is a framework developed by business author and consultant Patrick Lencioni. The model seeks to understand teams’ common challenges and how to overcome them.

​The Lencioni model focuses on five dysfunctions that can hinder team effectiveness, including:

  • Absence of trust: Team members are unwilling to be vulnerable and open with one another, leading to a lack of trust and transparency.
  • Fear of conflict: Team members are afraid to express their opinions or concerns, leading to a lack of constructive conflict and debate.
  • Lack of commitment: Team members are not fully committed to the team’s decisions or goals, leading to confusion and inconsistency.
  • Avoidance of accountability: Team members are not held accountable for their actions and contributions, leading to a lack of follow-through and responsibility.
  • Inattention to results: Team members are more focused on their own goals and agendas than on the team’s overall success, leading to a lack of focus and alignment.

These five dysfunctions can create a downward spiral that hinders team effectiveness. To overcome these challenges, Lencioni recommends building trust, fostering healthy conflict, achieving commitment, practicing accountability, and prioritizing results.

​Learn more about the Lencioni model.

5. Belbin’s Team Roles

Belbin’s Team Roles is a model developed by organizational psychologist Dr. Meredith Belbin and identifies nine different roles that individuals tend to play within a team. These roles focus on the different behavioral strengths and preferences individuals bring to the team and are not necessarily tied to an individual’s job title or position. According to Belbin, effective teams consist of a mix of team roles, and the optimal balance will vary depending on the task at hand.

Here is a list of the model’s roles:

  • Plant: Creative and innovative individuals who come up with new ideas and approaches.
  • Resource investigator: Outgoing and curious individuals who explore new opportunities and gather information.
  • Co-ordinator: Rational and decisive individuals who keep the team focused and organized.
  • Shaper: Challenge-seeking individuals who drive the team forward and bring energy and enthusiasm.
  • Monitor Evaluator: Analytical and objective individuals who assess the team’s progress and evaluate options.
  • Team Worker: Cooperative and supportive individuals who help to build team cohesion and resolve conflicts.
  • Implementer: Practical and efficient individuals who turn ideas into actions.
  • Completer Finisher: Detail-oriented and thorough individuals who ensure the completion of tasks to a high standard.
  • Specialist: Expert individuals who bring specialized knowledge or skills to the team.

Organizations can capitalize on Belbin’s Team Roles in team building exercises or as tools for team development.

​Learn more about Belbin’s Team Roles.

​Team mentality models: Final thoughts

Team mindset models provide valuable frameworks for understanding and developing the shared mindset and attitude of a group working toward a common goal. These models can help teams identify and overcome challenges, build a strong team mentality, and work more effectively toward success.

Team mentality quotes

Team mentality quotes are statements and phrases that capture the essence of what it means to have a strong team mentality. These quotes can inspire and motivate teams to work together effectively and achieve success.

  1. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
  2. ​ “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
  3. ​”The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle
  4. ​”I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” - Mother Teresa
  5. ​”The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth
  6. ​”No individual can win a game by himself.” – Pelé
  7. ​”Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
  8. ​”It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain
  9. ​”The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.” – Margaret Carty
  10. ​”Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

These quotes can provide valuable insights and perspectives on the importance of collaboration, cooperation, and mutual support. Organizations can use these quotes as a source of motivation or a reminder of the value of teamwork.

Check out more quotes about teamwork.


Building a strong team mentality is essential for any group that aims to work effectively and achieve success. Establishing a solid team structure involves a shared mindset and attitude that promotes collaboration, cooperation, and mutual support. Organizations can use different approaches and models to develop a team mentality. By implementing strategies to build a strong team mentality, organizations can create a workforce that performs more effectively and achieves set goals more efficiently.

Next, check out our list of employee feedback tips, leadership skills, and executive skills.

Also, read about these teamwork games.

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FAQ: Team mentality

Here are answers to common questions about team mentality.

What is a team mentality?

A team mentality is a group-oriented mindset that focuses on a group’s collective goals and objectives. This outlook involves working together toward a common purpose and valuing the contributions and ideas of all team members. A team mentality can be instrumental in helping a team achieve success.

How do you build a team first mentality in the workplace?

Building a team first mentality can be challenging to achieve. However, with the help of organizational leadership, you can build a mindset that encourages collaboration in the workforce.

Examples of ways to foster a team first mentality include:

  • Setting clear goals and expectations: Communicating the goals and expectations for the team can help all participants to understand their roles and how they fit into the larger picture.
  • Encouraging open communication: Encouraging team members to share ideas and feedback openly and honestly can help build trust and foster collaboration.
  • Fostering a culture of mutual respect: Treating all team members respectfully and valuing their contributions can help create a positive and inclusive team culture.
  • Encouraging collaboration and cooperation: Encouraging team members to work together and support one another rather than competing against each other is a fantastic way to build a team mentality.
  • Recognizing and rewarding teamwork: Showing appreciation for team members who demonstrate a team first mentality and contribute to the team’s success is a great motivator for the workforce.
  • Leading by example: As a leader, it is important to model the behaviors and attitudes that you want to see in your team.

These strategies can accelerate the process of building a team first mentality in your workplace. However, remember that building a strong team mentality takes time, effort, and commitment from all team members.

What are some examples of team mentalities?

A team mentality is an important aspect of any successful group dynamic that creates a sense of unity and purpose in a workforce. Some examples of team mentalities include collaborative, competitive, innovative, accountable, and supportive team members. Workers must also be aware of their mentality and how it affects their work and relationships.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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