There is a news station in the Washington, D.C., local area, whose slogan used to be, “7 on your side.” (try our cpi training online or our crisis intervention certificate) In crisis intervention, that slogan is a neat concept, especially for those working in a hospital, or in law enforcement. If I knew that I had seven of my coworkers–my teammates–right there with me any time I entered into a crisis situation, I would definitely feel more confident.

That team mentality is what I want to focus on, though. Obviously, having a rapport with the individual with whom you’re working is critical to crisis intervention. As you’re probably already aware, you can, sometimes, develop a rapport in a matter of seconds.

Usually, however, it’s a rapport that you’ve built up with the individual over a period of time through prior interactions. Occasionally, it happens that, for whatever reason, Little Johnny just isn’t willing to talk to me. Maybe he’s just having a bad day. It doesn’t matter why. Today he just doesn’t want anything to do with me. Our relationship is strained. This is when I need to recognize that even though I might have been the best person to work with this individual in the past, today I need to utilize the team.

John Maxwell, talks about going places. He says that if you want to go fast, go alone; but, if you want to go far, go together. When I first heard that I thought, “Wow, what an amazing concept!” Truthfully, when I was in the Marine Corps boot camp, everything we did, was done as a group. It was teaching us that team mentality; that “leave no man behind” concept. The reality is, that in order to get through something difficult, and I only have myself to rely upon, the odds aren’t always in my favor.

Now, I can try, and try, and try to do it on my own, but what could be better than knowing there is a team of people—seven of them–who are on my side and ready to help when I find myself in a very volatile, maybe dangerous, situation? I’ll tell you, there is nothing better.

So, an important key is to think about what you’re doing today, and ask yourself if you’ve done anything during the course of the day to help build a team mentality among the people with whom you work. Every day you should focus on building the team at least one small way. Keeping that up over time, will prepare you all for a major event.