Best Tips for Awesome Teamwork (as recommended by the Warriors)

Joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition create good teams.

Mindfulness, compassion, joy and teamwork go hand-in-hand

We all have teams we are a part of, or that we lead, that can feel more or less successful on any given day. Maybe we’re coaching our kid’s soccer team, or we’re in a team at work responsible for carrying out particular projects, or we’re trying to be a better couple team or parenting team with our partner.

Maybe we’re part of a team of like-minded individuals trying to bring about change and social justice in our schools, businesses, communities; or simply in a team of our family trying to help each member live their best lives. Maybe we’re just trying to be on our own team with ourselves, with a little more self-respect and support.

We all know the potential beauty, and potential struggle inherent in being part of any team. Working together can bring about hardship and heartache, as well as progress and meaningful purpose; frustration and failure as well as camaraderie and community. Sometimes we might let the final win or loss define the whole team, forgetting how important the journey and struggle together was, regardless of the outcome.

I have been following the Golden State Warriors Basketball team and celebrated their ultimate success in the NBA finals, not so much because yet again it’s another championship, but because of the character and values-based competition that the team engages in on a regular basis. I admire and believe their extraordinary success comes from combining their amazing athleticism with deep core values and really living them.

Here I have paraphrased some of what I heard them all talk about after their championship win. These are great tips for anybody on any kind of team to keep in mind as a way of creating a more cohesive (and successful) Team….

  • Have each other‘s back.
  • If you must be hardheaded, so be it. But when it comes down to it, do listen and work hard.
  • Don’t care who gets the glory.
  • The real MVP is the one behind you, supporting you.
  • Kevin Durant, the MVP, is happy to let Steph Curry be the face of the organization.
  • Have fun. Be joyous doing what you love. Have a sense of humor. Enjoy it all.
  • Eat well before you play hard. (Good self-care helps you to be a better teammate).
  • Be authentic. Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself you can be.
  • Give love and get so much love back.
  • Always ask about what the players or those on the front lines think. And then implement that input. (Coaches learn from players, who learn from coaches, who learn from players, etc..)
  • Acknowledge that not all ideas work (including your own), but do be open to considering them.
  • Rather than blame someone for mistakes, take ownership or accountability for what’s contributed.
  • Spend time with your family.
  • Encourage the youth around you.
  • Give back.
  • Be part of the community. (Never forget where you come from. Don’t isolate or alienate.)
  • “I don’t care what kind of a basketball player you are. What kind of a man/ human being will you be?” – Kevin Durant’s Mom
  • Responsibility, perseverance, make for a good man.
  • Joy, mindfulness, compassion, competition. Let everything you do be built around your core values.
  • Be grateful for the opportunity you have.
  • Overcoming adversity and a long hard season make for a sweeter win.
  • The downs make the victory that much sweeter. (Embrace the adversity.)
  • “This is for you guys. We appreciate your support.” – Warriors players to fans
  • “I have defensive breakdowns out there when I just am thinking about myself, and the other guys step up to help out.” – Draymond Green… (And I’m reminded I am a part of this team).
  • Surround yourself with good people – treat them like family.
  • When your teammate isn’t making shots, pick up for them.
  • Do stuff together. Stay together.
  • It’s all about the Team.
  • Hear everyone’s voice.
  • Gain trust by letting teammates know you care about them, they’re important to you.
  • Listen to other people’s story and have compassion.
  • Struggle is better – you got to go through the pain and discomfort to come out better and have more satisfaction on the other end.
  • Ask someone with more experience how they do what they do successfully.
  • Keep a good attitude. Keep going whenever you hit adversity.
  • Continue to get better from within.
  • Can’t give up on yourself. You’ve got to persevere.
  • When you’re not doing well, make sure to keep supporting your team.
  • It’s all about the team. Stay ready to contribute in the best way possible.
  • Help each other to become the best version of themselves.
  • The human connection always matters and has a huge impact.
  • Truly appreciate every moment you have to do what you love.
  • Don’t give into human nature and let your accomplishments feel like old repeats – celebrate each win as a new and special thing. Consider the preciousness of each moment.
  • Build your core values into your daily routine and let it become your culture.

Congratulations Golden State Warriors! Thank you for being a team that inspires us each to be the best teammates we can be on our own teams. Thank you for modeling the practice of living, working and playing by core values. And thank you for sharing your success with your supporters.

And after witnessing the celebration parade, I noticed one more tip about good teamwork:

  • Do good work and the people will come (together) joyfully and peacefully…Yeah!!

If you or someone you care about needs help becoming a better teammate or creating a more cohesive team, please contact me for a couples therapy appointment.

For more ideas on how to bring more calm and less worry into your life, click here for a free email course on Mindfulness.

Listening with Heart
Cindi Rivera, MFT
Marriage, Family Therapist
[email protected]
(510) 482-4445

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