Being a team player simply means that you can play nicely in a sandbox together with your colleagues with no shoving and pushing around. Mean players will be isolated and quickly given the cold shoulder. Do you ever watch kids play in a sandbox? There are some nice kids who walk around, pick up some sand, get some toys together, and then settle down to play with other kids. They talk, smile, and probably even roll around in the sand for a while. A tussle or two is often common, but the nice kids eventually get back to playing well together. Some even build a castle or a huge truck with sand and other toys. Playing nice in the research world is very much like that; a tussle or two is common between grownups, but you go back to playing nice.
“You cannot expect to be successful by being a loner in this interconnected world.”