Qualithoughts by: Joshua Whyte, Student at the University of Bath, United Kingdom
Rugby has always been a traditionally team reliant game but is not a sport particularly familiar in the Philippines – despite the success our National Team has demonstrated since the Philippine Rugby Football Union was formed in 1998. Our rugby union team, nicknamed the ‘Volcanoes’, represents the Philippines in international rugby union and are the current reigning Asian 5 Nations Division 1 champions! By 2014, rugby was being played in 119 countries by 6,684,118 million players!
One Team Culture
You’re all banding together for one common goal. To win the game. You realize it’s a collaborative effort and everyone needs to pull their weight and give every ounce of energy you have to succeed. Much of this can be transferred to the work place. Perhaps you have a financial target. Perhaps you need to fulfill the supply demands of a particular client. You certainly can’t do this on your own. However, if you get everyone on the team to work towards that one common goal, you are sure to succeed with flying colours!
Banter (Sense of humour)
The word “banter” means to exchange playful and friendly teasing remarks and is an essential part to the rugby culture. Often you will find that in the changing rooms or post match that banter is rife between team members. Such a light hearted atmosphere is essential for the work place too. Whilst the most important thing to do is to work, it is also incredibly important to find time to have a breather, relax and lighten the mood with you work mates.
Discipline to do the little things for the big occasion consistently
Every professional rugby player will tell you that for every achievement in the sport, whether it be an individual achievement or a team victory, is never possible if an incredible amount of discipline is involved. They don’t just mean training properly either, but even at home the right amount of sleep, the food they eat even the amount of time spent inactive are all monitored in great detail to achieve optimum levels of fitness. Only then can they begin to think about winning games. For office workers, the same can be applied. How can you say that you’re doing a good job when you don’t prepare for it properly? Spending the whole night working on that presentation of yours is not going to cut it. To succeed during the big occasion, you need to consistently discipline yourself by working, sleeping and relaxing for the right amount of time.
Accountability for mistakes that may cost your team
Not everyone is going to have a wholly successful time when working. In rugby the guy who misses the one tackle quite often costs his team the game. Rugby forces that one person to become accountable and teaches you to accept responsibility for the problems you have caused. Accountability can mean the making or breaking of a person even in the workplace. It is sometimes the only way for a person to reflect on their actions, realize the problems they have caused and change their course in order to become a better employee themselves.
Do the job that no one wants to do for your team
We are often met with challenges in our lives that, when thought about, nobody would really ever want to go through or in fact do. In rugby this happens on more than one occasion. Sometimes the smallest guy on the pitch has no choice but to make the last man tackle against the biggest guy on the field in order to preserve your teams lead in the last minutes of the game. We are all met with different situations in our lives that require a bit more steel and resolve sometimes not for the benefit of us but for the benefit of others. Whether it be having to stay 2 extra hours to finish the balance sheet for your finance team, the work place can very much relate to rugby in much the same way.
Necessary aggression for motivation
Rugby is not rugby unless there is a little bit of competitiveness and aggression involved. It is that tenacity which leads to a more successful performance in a game. The same can be said for the work space. If everything were nice and easy, the competitive edge and willingness to progress further with your work would be lost. A healthy bit of aggression can go a long way even to motivate your staff members to rethink their attitudes and work a bit harder.
Necessary nurturing for motivation
Having said the importance of aggression, a sense of care and nurturing is also required in rugby. Compliments from the coach can go a long way in increasing the confidence of a player and sometimes that is what separates the good players from the truly great ones. This is similar to the workplace. It is part of the managers job to encourage and motivate his or her staff members. When he fails to do this, such as perhaps making them lose confidence, productivity levels can plummet. Like rugby, it is important to give tips, compliments and care to everyone around you to gain healthy levels of confidence.
Sincerity and etiquette post-game/project
Rugby is often known as a hooligans sport played by gentlemen. Anybody who plays a lot of rugby can tell you that after the game, despite the bruises cuts and broken bones experienced during a game, the opposition who was responsible for doing that to you are invited down to the pub for a few drinks. There is so much sincerity and respect shown off the field that this can be translated to the office as well. When all is over and the work is done, enjoy your time with those around you. Spend your time with them and care for them sincerely. This can go a long way in forming lifelong friendships and a fantastically close knit office culture!