Sports & Sportsmanship Drive Many Businesses
Some may find it hard to believe, but sports can play an important role in the success of many businesses and organizations. (So, this may be the best reason why you should have a solid understanding — or at least an appreciation of — sports).
For one thing, sports conversations can have a positive impact on boosting morale. A 2006 research report about the impact of sports on the UK workplace, commissioned by the global recruiting firm, Hudson, found that:
63% of men and 52% of women said that sporting success (i.e. their team winning) has an impact on their approach to work.
47% women and 40% of men said that sporting success lifts their mood and makes them more productive in their jobs.
A fifth of the men said sport increased their motivation at work compared to 12% of women. Only 3% said that sporting success is distracting and makes them less productive.
Plus, the culture of sport is woven into the daily goings-on of many businesses and organizations. Here are some of the things we’ve noticed: Managers typically arrange employees into teams. Meetings and conversations are peppered with sports analogies or terminologies, and competition between employees is encouraged. For example, employees are referred to as “team members.” Certain key team members may be designated as “captains” while back-up team leaders are known as “on the bench.” Meeting goals or falling short are characterized as “wins and losses.” When team members need direction they are “coached” rather than addressed. Instead of meetings, there are “huddles.”
In some cases, people who don’t have a basic understanding of sports might leave a meeting not knowing exactly what to do. For example, if a sales manager said, ‘We need to use a long-pass strategy now,’ how many around the table would have understood he was directing them to shift their focus away from small accounts?
Finally, the conduct and attitude considered as befitting participants in sports, i.e. good sportsmanship, makes for good business practices, too: things like fair play, courtesy, grace in losing, persistence, confidence, teamwork and mental toughness to name a few.