3 Lessons in Workplace Collaboration from World Cup Champions

June 29, 2018 by Amanda Maksymiw

Soccer field

From Cairo to London, Seoul to Montevideo – all across the globe soccer fans (football, for our international readers) have been glued to their screens as the 2018 World Cup heads into the Round of 16. It’s a shining example of community, bringing millions together to celebrate sportsmanship, athleticism, and competition. For those watching closely, however, it is also a case study in the power of workplace collaboration. Regardless if your office is the pitch, a conference room, or your favorite coffee shop – the tenants which support effective teamwork remain the same no matter the objective.

While you’re enjoying the 2018 World Cup, keep an eye out for these three lessons in successful workplace collaboration:

  • Don’t Fear Flexibility. In the workplace, this often refers to ability to work from anywhere. As it applies to the World Cup, it reflects the importance of letting go of tradition to find new levels of success. Antiquated strategies on the pitch won’t yield movement on the scoreboard. Players, much like today’s employees, need to tap innovative and out of the box solutions in order to see results. Just because something worked in the past, doesn't mean it’s the most effective approach today.
  • Be Goal Oriented. This one is a little obvious, but it is still critical nonetheless. World Cup participants keenly understand what they are working towards, and how their contributions move the entire team in the right direction. By being communicative in team objectives, and the role each member has to play, it significantly increases the likelihood for long term success.
  • Embrace Cross-Channel Communication. When the goalie prepares to throw the ball back into play, he has merely seconds to scan the field and make a decision on where to pass. In those moments, there is a massive amount of verbal and non-verbal cues being passed to the goalie. Waves, eye contact, or old fashioned shouts – professional soccer players have mastered the art of seamlessly jumping between channels to get their message across. Sound familiar? In the workplace, we often swap voice for video or phone calls for chat at a moment’s notice, albeit with less drama attached to our decisions. Lean into the channels you’re most comfortable with but having the cross-channel skills can many the biggest of tasks more manageable.

World Cup participants and other professional athletes understand more than most the limitless potential when teammates come together to achieve a common goal. For the modern employee facing a rapidly evolving future of work, these players exemplify the core competencies that define success today, and when the next World Cup rolls around in 2022.

Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda is responsible for setting and managing the Fuze content marketing strategy including creating, producing and publishing engaging content. Throughout her career, she's worked with fast-growing tech companies and VCs on developing content marketing, influencer marketing and social media strategies. Amanda received her BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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