Boston Bruins ban use of word ‘rookie’ in locker room

Friday, December 13th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

It's not easy to be the newest member of an organization, be it a small business, a club or even a professional sports team. Every once in a while, however, an organization realizes this and tries to make the situation a little easier for the newcomers.

The Boston Bruins are reportedly trying to do a better job of integrating their youngest hockey players with their most experienced team members, starting with the basics. According to an article in The Boston Globe, the team has banned the use of the word "rookie" in the locker room. Instead, new players will be referred to as "first-year players," younger guys" or "newer guys," all of which are intended to be more respectful.

It may seem like a strange move for a professional hockey team, despite the fact that some players agree that terms like "rookie" are demeaning and actually impede team integration. For example, veteran defenseman and team captain Zdeno Chara told the Globe that, in addition to being called a rookie, new players like him were often required to complete demeaning chores.

"I had a couple of bad experiences," he said. "And I said, 'You know, if I ever am in a position to control that, I would totally change it, because it's not fair.'"

It's obvious that this idea has applications for the business world as well. Project managers know that effective teamwork is essential for project success, but that smooth team functioning can be hard to achieve if younger or newer members don't feel accepted. In order to get the best from all team members, it's a good idea to treat everyone with respect.

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