“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” –C.S. Lewis
As we descend deeper into a society characterized by polarization and division, cooperation is increasingly a curious characteristic. First, let me suggest that cooperation is a product of humility, a dispositional drive of a selfless ego. I introduce cooperation here to set it up as a desired individual behavior to be exercised in a team environment. Consider humility to be a serious personality characteristic; one that is geared toward the positive construction and building of healthy relationships. But don’t align humility with meekness or shyness—as is usually the case. Resist the temptation to dismiss humility simply because it hasn’t been lionized like “grit,” or “mental toughness.” One of the biggest mistakes coaches make is thinking that humility means a lack of self-confidence or a personal shortcoming such as a fragile sense of one’s self.
In team relationships humility shows through by the team members’ commitment to serve and support one another, through showing appreciation for the contributions of teammates, expressing encouragement, and acceptance of each other. The person possessing a healthy dose of humility is generous with his or her support of others as expressed through loyalty and respect for teammates. The humble teammate displays a strong sense of duty to the team. Let me be clear: humility is the social glue that holds the team—a fragile eco-system—in balance. Humility is always the infrastructure of unity.