Watching World Cup can improve your Global Business Skills

By Eric McGraw

 

More than three billion people around the world are expected to watch a World Cup match some time in the next month, truly making it the world’s biggest game. Yet for all this global madness there is a major – and vocal – group in the United States who condemn soccer, or (gasp) football, by offering the following examples:

  1. There’s not enough scoring and therefore not exciting.
  2. All the fake injuries and flopping on the ground ruins “the beautiful game.”
  3. The U.S. doesn’t dominate football on a global scale.

It is clear these opinions stem from comparing America’s popular sports like American football, basketball and baseball to soccer.  True, many of our American heroes, both real and fictional, are derived from these homegrown sports, which shows what we value as a society.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you know what the difference between a striker and a fullback is but what others perceive as your response to soccer could say something about your mindset, personal character and global business skills.

The negative opinions on soccer above might reveal a bit of ethnocentrism and closed-mindedness, which is a major deal killer in global business.  Showing a bit of cultural appreciation and open-mindedness is a key factor in developing international relationships with your company staff, business partners and potential customers.

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