As a soccer mom, I can’t help but notice the apparent similarities between soccer teams and professional work teams. My teenage son plays competitive soccer, and I’ve logged my fair share of hours on the bleachers or in a nearby chair.
It’s only been in the last year that he made a move from rec soccer to club soccer, but when he did, the field seemed to double in size overnight. I worried about how he and the other players would chase the ball without wearing themselves out. Fortunately, they have a competent, tough-love kind of coach who teaches them that if they each play their positions to the best of their abilities, no one will get worn out. By specializing in your role, you learn to leverage others’ strengths to build a more capable and successful team.
This same advice applies to businesses of all sizes.
By watching club soccer, I’ve witnessed everything from powerful lessons in communication skills to why it’s essential to adapt to play another role when that “specialist” is unavailable. Think illness, vacation, or death in the family.
“Talk to each other” is a direct command I hear the soccer coach use often. Clear lines of communication make it easier for the team to stay in sync and elevate their game. The same is true for passing the ball. The more passes made by the offense, the more challenging you are to the defense.
Soccer and business are both team sports. They require a significant amount of teamwork to win games or secure clients and grow profitability. The success of each player depends on the performance of the other teammates. If you work together as a team, your communication levels will improve on the field or in the office. The results will speak for themselves.
Because I’m in the People Strategy business, understanding the dynamics among team members and the importance of playing your role to the best of your ability is a lesson my son’s soccer coach imparts daily. I’m thinking of hiring him to support my communication workshops by reinforcing “Play Your Role, “Pass the Ball, and “Talk to Each Other.”
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