This Week's Character Strength Spotlight is on TEAMWORK.

WHAT DOES TEAMWORK/CITIZENSHIP MEAN? You work well as a member of a group or team. You are loyal and sacrifice your individual desires for the greater good.

Teamwork is the ability and willingness to place overall group success as a higher priority than individual achievement. Citizenship is a willingness to work towards the common good as opposed to one’s own self-interest. Those with strengths in teamwork and citizenship often work to help all group members find success. These individuals are willing to commit time and resources to further group goals and help move toward the greater good. This strength is associated with naturally positive feelings that accompany being a member of a family, team, school, political party, ethnic group, or country. However, those positive feelings can come at a cost with negative behavior towards the “out-group” in the form of blind obedience, disparaging words, or prejudice. This is important to guard against by leveraging a person’s other positive character strengths.

For individuals, teamwork often means deferring or delaying individual accomplishments in order to ensure that the group maintains a high level of success. Their commitment to the larger group effort makes them both good teammates and citizens. The positive feelings associated with being part of a larger whole can be highly beneficial and combat selfishness and egotism.

Our ability to work effectively within group structures is tied directly to the group’s ability to succeed. In schools and workplaces across the world, commitment to teamwork and to the “greater good” helps further learning and achievement for all group members. Maintaining the idea that “Other People Matter” is essential to any successful team environment.

Individuals with this strength are likely to think, feel, or behave in the following ways:

  • Working together, we can achieve 'more'.
  • You owe it to your country to help make it better.
  • I want to help.
  • It feels good to sacrifice for the greater good.
  • The success of the group is more important than just my success.


  • “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
  • “I am a member of a team, and I rely on a team. I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”
    — MIA HAMM
  • “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
  • "We had two goals… one was to cherish every moment together, cherish the journey because the journey allows you to learn and grow. The other was to win a gold medal."
    — Kerri Walsh-Jennings
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?"

Below is a video of an all-time great U.S. Olympic team: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings. Together, they won three consecutive Olympic gold medals. In doing so, they used teamwork — as well as their different, but complimentary, character strengths.

This Week's Prompt

How in your life have you used the strength of teamwork? How have you noticed the power of this strength in regards to how other people have/do use it? How can you continue to use teamwork in your life now, and how would it be helpful to you?