Three Lessons about Team Building from the Summer Olympics in Rio


The world’s most elite athletes will gather in Brazil for the Summer Olympics in Rio. While their physical abilities are certainly admirable, Olympians also have a great deal of mental and emotional strength that the average person can learn from, regardless of their industry or job title. Check out these three lessons about team building from the Summer Olympics in Rio.

Communicate at Every Step

Olympic teammates go into each event with a plan in mind, but if conditions change mid-competition, they must be able to effectively communicate in a timely manner to determine how to update their strategies – or they risk blowing the opportunity of a lifetime. This importance of communication among member of the team can also be applied to the workplace. It’s not enough to just set a plan for a project – each member of the team has to be willing to communicate throughout it and understand the significance of providing updates and actively listening to others. Otherwise, issues could occur that may have been preventable had team members been more open to communicating.

Share One Vision

During the Olympics, all teammates have razor sharp focus on one specific end goal: to bring home the gold for their country. In the workplace, strategic goals are more likely to be achieved if your team is able to follow the example of Olympic athletes and share one concrete vision. Often this doesn’t occur because employees don’t know why the goals are important, don’t understand their roles, or even realize the specific goal and action steps needed. If you want your team to successfully work together to achieve one goal, you must clearly communicate precisely what vision they should all be sharing and why they should be engaged in it.

Commit to Putting Forth Effort

Athletes don’t make it all the way to the Olympics if they don’t put forth less than 100 percent. Some may think they want to compete in the Olympics until they see just how much effort it really takes. That’s why Olympic teammates are so elite – they are the very few who were willing and able to put forth that maximum commitment. The workplace isn’t as all encompassing as training for the Olympics, but the lesson applies regardless: for a team to accomplish great things together, each member must commit to doing what it takes to get there. If employees don’t appear to be fully committed, it’s up to management to set expectations and figure out the best way to motivate them.

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