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Workplace lessons from the youth soccer field

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

This month, our award for Best Communicator doesn't go to someone you'll see in the news. No, this month the distinction goes to a group of scrappy 6- to 8-year-old soccer players in Greene County, Va.

The game started like any other for the “Yellow” team. The difference was that the average kid on the opposing “Purple” team was a good two heads taller than the average Yellow player. No problem. Little or not, the Yellow team was determined to play well. Even when the Purple team’s coaches screamed their heads off, the Purple players pushed and kicked them, and the Purple team scored on an obvious cheat that garnered a reprimand from the ref, the Yellow team played hard … for every second.

There was no whining or complaining. There was no making up excuses (which would’ve been valid). There were no dirty tricks or retaliation. When up against a bigger, meaner opponent, they fought fairly. And even though they lost, they ran off the field ecstatic with what they had done.

No one can blame the kids on the Purple team; they were being led by the worst type of coach who was teaching them that winning trumps everything.

Our little Yellow fighters, however, communicated clearly who they are—winners—regardless of the score. That kind of moxie will serve you well in the workplace. No matter what you’re up against—even when it seems unfair—don’t make excuses or complain. Keep fighting fairly, and you can walk away feeling like a winner too.   

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