What the World Cup teaches us about stellar team communication

It takes flawless communication to make perfect plays on the pitch. Here are the top communication teachings we can take away from the World Cup.


Jessica Cara




Jessica Cara

5 minutes

This year’s FIFA World Cup is nearing its final match, with quarterfinals starting this Friday, December 9. This international football (or soccer) event takes place every 4 years with 32 teams representing 32 countries competing for the coveted World Cup Champion title and trophy.

The quadrennial World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world. And this year actually had record-breaking TV audience views, with 36.67 million viewers tuning in for the match between Japan and Costa Rica! 

There are so many reasons to love the World Cup—it unites the world, and it’s an opportunity to see the world’s most elite athletes. It celebrates friendship, fun, and friendly competition. It’s also a great display of how important it is to communicate.

“Football is a universal language that we speak with different accents.”

Tim Vickery, journalist

It takes flawless communication to make perfect plays on the pitch. Here are the top communication teachings we can take away from FIFA World Cup 2022.

1. Speak clearly

In a stadium full of screaming fans, players have to speak up and speak clearly to be heard. The same can also be said for anyone giving a speech or presentation. Be sure to enunciate clearly and speak at an even pace to ensure your message is received and understood.

2. Listen to your teammates

It’s just as important to listen to your teammates on the field as it is in the office. Plus, active listening encourages collaborative communication, which streamlines efforts for everyone. Build an inclusive workplace environment by taking the time and effort to ensure everyone feels empowered to share their ideas and be heard.

3. Make a plan and be open (to changes)

Just as teams walk through their tactics before a match, your team should have a game plan to meet your goals. Schedule regular updates to track project progress and keep your channels of communication open in case of any urgent requests or last-minute changes.

4. Be respectful

At this year’s World Cup, Japan’s culture of cleanliness and respect went viral after fans meticulously cleaned the stands at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium following the Japan vs. Costa Rica match. In addition, the Japan team also made headlines for leaving their locker room “spotless” after their 2-1 victory against Germany.

Disagreements are inevitable, especially in the workplace. But even in moments where opinions may differ, it’s essential to be respectful to your teammates and considerate of their ideas.

5. Win as a team

Individual goals are great but you can only win as a team! 🏆 It’s important to align your team around a defined mission that reflects the heartbeat of your work. How does your organization impact others? What inspires the work you do?

Having a common goal at the forefront of your work allows your team to recognize the value and impact of their individual contributions and how they complete the bigger picture of the purpose you’re all trying to serve.

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