The Olympics are back! It’s once again that exciting time when our world comes together through sports to embrace our cultural differences and celebrate our mutual talents and interests. Olympic Athletes are the best of the best, the elite, the embodiment of their sport come to life. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in all the excitement and cheer for our favorite athletes. Here are 4 different workplace lessons we can take away from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
1. SET GOALS
Olympic athletes train for years to make it to the games. Many stumble and fall along the way, but what’s important to remember is that they always keep moving forward. Athletes set goals for themselves every day, every month and every year. For some it as simple as shaving a second off of their performance time, for others it might be to win a gold medal, to set a new record, or to even make it to the Olympics at all.
Set working goals for yourself. Decide what you want to accomplish, whether it is a daily to-do list of workplace tasks, or a major professional milestone you’d like to achieve in your career. Start simple, and write your goals down. If you visually see your goals before you on paper, you are more likely to follow-up with the necessary work to accomplish them. Create tasks and action items that will allow you to always be aiming in the direction that you want to be heading.
2. PUSH YOURSELF
The worlds’ best athletes didn’t just wake up that way. They earned their status through hard work, sacrifice and dedication. These athletes have worked, and practiced for countless weeks, months and years. They have learned new ways to train, adapted them into their regular routines, and made it part of their performance.
We must also push ourselves outside of our comfort zone from time to time. Be wary of sedentary work – you never know what new processes you may develop by trying things in a whole new way. Push yourself to be faster, more efficient, friendlier, or whatever characteristic defines your working roll. Never let your failures define you, rather let them be a learning lesson to reminded you how to “win” next time around.
3. BE COACHABLE
Athletes depended on their coaches and mentors for advice and criticism alike. These coaches often have a working knowledge of their sport, because they themselves were once an athlete too. Their knowledge and expertise not only comes from their personal experiences in performances, but also from the lessons they received from their prior coaches. The human race has been passing down knowledge for centuries, afterall isn’t a coach or trainer the same as a teacher?
If the telecom industry has taught us anything, it’s that technology is always changing and evolving. Just as athletes must be willing to learn in order to be able to grow, so must we too. Being a lifelong learner has countless benefits, as there are new things to be discovered and perfected everyday. Don’t become the expert of the obsolete, or you will one day find yourself irrelevant at work. Push your brain and your abilities, by striving to learn as much as you can along the way. The ones who succeed are the ones who learn how to grow and adapt. Don’t be too proud or stubborn to take advice from experts in your respective field.
4. JOIN THE TEAM
The Olympics feature individual sports and team competitions alike. As spectators, we find ourselves united as a country cheering on all our athletes. We celebrate those who achieve a new level of greatness whether it be by breaking records or earning a place on the podium. Our hearts are saddened with those who fall a little short in their performance, or worse fall victim to injury. But isn’t that the beauty of the Olympic Games?! We find ourselves emotionally joining a new team, not just Team USA, but also the team of human spirit. We cheer on athletes from all walks of life, those who have broken down borders, the comeback stories, and of course, the unlikely underdogs.
Team work is essential to workplace success. Human beings as a whole are social creatures, and we often strive to please those around us. Become an active participant in the team of your company. Contribute your thoughts and ideas during meetings, when appropriate. Offer to help your fellow team member if you have a couple of extra minutes. Strive to embody the mission and values of your employer, and become something bigger than yourself. Give back to your boss and peers by being a active member of the team and before you know it, you will find yourself achieving successes everyday at your place of work.