Team Building in Sport: Lessons for Business

Looking to sport for valuable insight into how to achieve business success has become a common practice among business leaders who can see the obvious parallels between the two. According to the professional footballer Mark Roberts, who plays for the Lancashire-based league one team, Fleetwood Town, many of the principles that guide successful athletes and teams can support businesses with, among other things, solutions to enhanced productivity and shared company ethos.

Writing for HR magazine, Roberts explained that business, like sport, is enhanced by teamwork and a motivated attitude even in the face of failure. The ability to “turn negative experiences into positive action”, he writes, is a lesson learned in football that if embraced by HR managers would lead to inspirational leadership and business cultures that use setbacks as a source of business evolution.

Lessons from Sport: Becoming Process Driven

Successful athletes know that while they can’t control the outcome, they can master the process. Businesses that focus on targets rather than process might be missing the opportunity to develop their workforce in high-level skills like effective communication, powerful decision-making, and conflict resolution.

When business is tackled like a game, there is an opportunity to approach desired outcomes with fun, creativity, and teamwork, all of which can enhance productivity, a sense of achievement and purpose.

Lessons from Sport: Teamwork

Including team sports in company away-days or as part of a team development program has been found to have multiple benefits for companies.

One of the most pertinent things that can be learned from sport is the value of teamwork. Playing netball together, for instance, would encourage co-operation and strengthen your team’s ability to put differences aside to work towards a common goal. Healthy competition between teammates mirrors the world of business, where hard work is often rewarded on an individual basis but celebrated as a team

Playing sports together also gives colleagues the chance to get to know each other outside of the office dynamic and can help to develop leadership skills in some of your company’s hidden talent. It promotes shared values and the opportunity to reflect on the nature of competition without the pressure.