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7 Lessons Business People Can Learn From FIFA World Cup 2018

Take time out to have fun with your team. Business doesn't have to be serious all the time

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For the past few weeks, millions of people around the world have been gripped by the Football World Cup 2018. Well done France! I am more of a cricket fan but even I have been drawn into watching a few games.

The England team exceeded expectations by making it to the semi-finals. As a mind coach, what interested me was the change in the approach of the team. Previous teams have been dominated by well-paid celebrity players who seemed unable to play together to achieve success. The 2018 team were younger, keener and seemed to be having more fun. So, what had changed?

Firstly, they were being cheered-on and encouraged from the sidelines by a charismatic new manager, Gareth Southgate. The success of his new approach to dealing with the team, the media and fans have led to more support and engagement. Business leaders are now queuing up to have him as a speaker at their conferences.

Secondly, they have been working for several months with a team psychologist, Pippa Grange, who has taken a different approach to bond the footballers together into a team. She has had them talking about their life experiences and anxieties in small groups so that they understand each other. She has helped them to move from a mindset of fear to one of adventure and growth.

There are lessons for business people and entrepreneurs from this transformation.

1)     Take care of your experienced team members but remember to encourage new talent. Every organisation, regardless of size, needs to have a succession plan to replace their older members of staff as they move up or on. Newer team members will bring new attitudes and energy to the organisation.

2)     Review the performance of individuals and the team. You may have some very talented individuals but if they are unable to achieve the team goals, action needs to be taken to improve performance. You know the saying 'If you keep on doing what you've always done, you will keep on getting the same results'.

3)     Tolerate failure in individuals and teams. 'There is no failure. There is only feedback'. Many entrepreneurs don't succeed because their fear of failure stops them from developing their business and making changes. When things don't go to plan, think about what you have learned from the experience.

4)     It's helpful to have a vision of your business goals but it is essential to plot the steps you need to take to achieve the goal. This is as true for individual entrepreneurs as it is for organisations. People are motivated by the idea of the big goal but that motivation is sustained by achieving all the little goals that keep moving them in the right direction.

5)     Sometimes people at work mistake their feelings for something negative when it can be positive. The feeling of being 'frightened' to undertake a new role may actually be a feeling of 'excitement' that has been misunderstood. Fear stops someone from taking an opportunity. Excitement is a signal to keep growing and developing.

6)     Remember that everyone in your team is an individual with different experiences, talents and needs. They can get frustrated and stressed is they do not have the opportunity to use their skills. Take time to listen to them and understand them in order to achieve the best individual and team performance.

7)     Engage with your clients and customers. Communicate with them and share your business stories. If your business is relatable your biggest critics can become your best fans and brand advocates.

8)     People at work respond to kindness and encouragement. Praising them for good performance and what they do well works better than constantly criticising them for things that have gone wrong.

9)     Take time out to have fun with your team. Business doesn't have to be serious all the time. The England football team did some of their training sitting on inflatable unicorns in a swimming pool! Celebrate your successes and have a laugh.

Here's to World Cup 2022!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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FIFA World Cup 2018 business sense

Pat Duckworth

The author is Mind Coach, Author and International Speaker, specialising in helping people to lead their best lives, regardless of age

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