Talented teams and athletes make winning look effortless. It’s not just their physical strength and abilities that lead to results, it’s the habits they lean on daily that produce great outcomes.
There’s always more going on behind the scenes than what you see on game day. The same is true in your office and with your team. Your habits determine your success even more than your talent and hard work.
Here are three high-performance habits you can borrow from sports to help you win at work.
From sports to business: If you only practice for the big moments you’ll miss the opportunities that come before it. Sure, you’ve given the presentation dozens of times you know exactly what you’re going to say, but what about the way you introduce yourself. Have you practiced that? Are you prepared for small talk? Do you have a way to leave a conversation gracefully? Have you said the words and practiced the fundamentals?
From sports to business: Anyone can do things once. It’s the little habits that get overlooked that make the biggest impact. For me personally, it’s saying “Hello” and smiling every time I see one of the athletes I cover. Sometimes that’s the only conversation or interaction we’ll have for days but it’s also what leads them to drop their guard, trust me and talk to me on game days. Identify what you can and will be consistent at. Place a high priority on following through.
From sports to business: There’s always an opportunity to communicate more clearly at work. You don’t need to yell or scream you can be kind and direct in your conversations. Remember, being direct is a gift for you and the person you’re talking to. If being direct is uncomfortable or something you’re not use to, practice what you will say ahead of time. How do you know when you’ve practiced enough? My business coach once advised me to talk about money with the same emotion I would use when I say, “Please pass the salt.” That standard applies here too.
There are communication and leadership lessons everywhere you look in sports – if you’re looking for them. The next time you watch a game consider the high-performance habits that go into winning and see if you can identify another element you can add to your work habits. In the meantime download 5 Ways to Level up Your Leadership Skills and put your sports fandom to work for you.