It’s Only A Game

 

 

Coach Schwartz & Coach HarbaughWhen most peo­ple think about eti­quette, they think about table man­ners and which fork to use while eat­ing their salad. Eti­quette is also a pop­u­lar topic in the busi­ness world. Hir­ing man­agers judge their prospec­tive employ­ees to see their knowl­edge of eti­quette and man­agers have their employ­ees take eti­quette train­ing to help improve their skills in hopes it will increase sales.

Most peo­ple do not real­ize that eti­quette is also a part of sports. Webster’s defines sports­man­ship as con­duct becom­ing to one par­tic­i­pat­ing in a sport. In other words, sports­man­ship is a form of eti­quette and as such your con­duct should be reflec­tive of you and the orga­ni­za­tion you are representing.

Recently, two foot­ball coaches almost were involved in an alter­ca­tion after their game. At the end of a foot­ball game, it is cus­tom­ary for the oppos­ing coaches to shake hands. Some­times they share a few words, wish the other luck and then go on with their busi­ness, but, at a min­i­mum, they shake hands. At the end of this game, the los­ing coach took offense at the win­ning coach’s exu­ber­ance dur­ing their hand­shake. The win­ning coach shook the loser’s hand and gave him a slap on the back. Already upset with los­ing the game, the los­ing coach men­tally lost it after this hand­shake and began chas­ing the win­ning coach down. Thank­fully, cooler heads pre­vailed and kept the two separated.

Per­cep­tion played a major role in this eti­quette break­down. Your actions are per­ceived by oth­ers and it is impor­tant for your intent to be per­ceived cor­rectly. I’m sure the win­ning coach had no intent to embar­rass the other coach, how­ever, this is how it was per­ceived by the los­ing coach and it almost resulted in a fight. Every­body loves to win, but it is impor­tant to win with dig­nity and con­duct your­self in a man­ner that is respect­ful to the loser and is pos­i­tively rep­re­sen­ta­tive of your organization.