Now I appreciate that not everyone is a football fan or are English and support English football but last night England beat Denmark in the semi finals of the European Championship. Before you discard this post, it’s not all about football!
For the England team and their management (and many football fans I suspect) it IS all about winning and to a certain extent, quite right, that’s what they’re paid HUGE amounts of money to do BUT what really interests me is the management of this team, the feeling that they are a team, the language they use – it’s all about self belief and limiting negative language and reframing a very negative perception of the game from the past.
So what is different with this team? For me, and I’m no football expert, there is a conscious decision to focus on the future and what they can achieve. They don’t get easily drawn into conversations that reflect on the mistakes of the past, they’re looking forward constantly, after all, they’re not actually their mistakes. They have each others backs – they are supportive of each other, they compliment each other, they respect each other.
Have you noticed that Gareth Southgate doesn’t make rash promises, he quietly but also strongly reinforces his belief in his team and their abilities. Again, there is no negative language used in his press conferences, he reframes questions from the press to present challenges and potential “issues” as a way of making the team stronger. His appeared unwavering belief in this team surely must make them feel that they can achieve anything?
What also interests me is the knock on effect that this has had on those around him. Have you noticed how its quite difficult for the commentators to trot out their usual lines of doom? They too are uplifted and use different language when describing the team and the game. Easy to do when you’re winning? Yes, perhaps, but also I feel there is change afoot.
These lads, and they are lads to me, have decided to change it up – as one of the pundits mentioned, “they have no fear of the past, they don’t have those demons hanging over them they are concentrating on what’s in front of them”. They are all trying to project a more positive, more respectful, more aware image of the team. It was a nice touch, the signed shirt for the Danish player Eriksen given to the team before the game, a mindful touch.
So perhaps we can look at this through different eyes whether you are a football fan or not? The difference self belief can make, the difference team spirit can make. Changing the language we use to support and uplift people, focusing on what is in front of us rather than continually beating ourselves up for mistakes in our past, not only will it make a difference to you but those around you.
I’m not saying any of that is easy, it’s not, BUT baby steps. Consider how you talk about yourself to others, be kind, be positive, see how that affects their attitude towards you? Avoid conversations with others if they are gossiping about someone or belittling someone – it’s not necessary. Who is in your team? Who are the people you want to big up and support? How can you do that?
Lastly feel the joy in other people’s success – what an achievement! How much hard work have they put in? Look at the smile on their face, look at what it means to them. Celebrate with them, let their experience lift you up too, let it inspire and motivate you and live in the moment, who know’s what might happen next but right here and now enjoy those positive feelings.