If you’ve jumped on the Ted Lasso bandwagon you know it is possible to be kind and competitive at the same time.
It’s a scripted show with a Hollywood storyline but I’ve actually worked with coaches who are that kind. I’ve seen fans be the ultimate encouragers. I’ve experienced entire communities rally around sports.
And after 20 years in sports broadcasting, I’ve seen the opposite.
I’ve heard fans yelling profanities at teenagers and try to explain their bad behavior by saying sports is their escape. Claiming you’re a different person at a game than you are at work is a convenient cop out, but it’s not true. You are the same person on game day as you are every other day of the week. The environment is different, but you are an extension of the same person. That’s why it’s important to be as intentional with your fandom as you are in your business relationships. This is all part of your brand.
As someone who attends sporting events and talks sports for a living, I know there is a way to be a fan with grace, kindness and respect – even if you’re yelling at the top of your lungs.
Kindness is a choice. It doesn't matter if you are at a sporting event of sitting at your desk. Here are six ways to practice kindness as a sports fan and carry it into your workplace.
Work correlation: Instead of putting down the competition, highlight the strengths and/or expertise you and company bring to the table.
Work correlation: You might not share the same interests, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask about things your colleagues are passionate about. It’s a necessary skill for building relationships.
Work correlation: Find something nice to say about your colleagues, managers or competition. Be prepared with a compliment instead of criticism.
Work correlation: You can be disappointed in an outcome without being a jerk. There is always a respectful way to give feedback. Choose to act like a professional.
Work correlation: Diversity of thought and inclusivity requires the ability to listen to colleagues with different experiences and backgrounds. Practice by listening to fans with different opinions and backgrounds.
Work correlation: Common sense manners go a long way in showing kindness.
You can treat sports fandom as a hobby/pastime, or you can use it to enhance your personal brand and practice the communication skills that cultivate more kindness at work. Because a little kindness goes a long way.