SST-dolphine dancing in the ocean

Valuable Lessons About Teamwork That Dolphins Can Teach You

For visitors to the Florida coast, dolphins are a must-see. The playful mammals leap from the water, glide alongside the Royal Conquest, and offer a spectacle for curious onlookers. Aside from novelty, dolphins can offer valuable lessons about teamwork. As social creatures, a dolphin’s motto is teamwork makes the dream work. These facts about dolphin behavior can translate into the human workplace as tools for success.

Dolphins Aim For Success

Though humans are individual by nature, great achievements have often required teamwork. For dolphins, the greater good for the pod often surpasses the needs of the individual. Nothing is more important for a pod of dolphins than securing food. To catch elusive prey, dolphins must work together to ensure success.

As a team, dolphins corral fish into tight spaces so that catching them becomes an easy task. This feat of underwater effort offers up one of many teamwork tutorials. Cooperation toward a shared goal ensures a higher probability of success. For a dolphin, survival relies on trust within the pod. In the boardroom or office, working in teams can produce a more efficient and successful work environment.

Empathy For Your Fellow Dolphin

Dolphins are empathetic by nature. Whether human, whale, or otherwise, dolphins will provide a helping fin. In zoology, cetology is the study of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. Cetologists note that a dolphin’s empathy makes it much easier to reach shared goals. Among many facts about dolphins cetologists know, a dolphin’s empathy is the most relatable to humans.

Empathy is a trait most often attributed to successful individuals. Dolphins understand the plights of others by assisting members of their pod in need. Not only does it make for a cute story to tell tourists, a dolphin’s help in these trying times makes for a healthy pod. What can we learn from dolphins in this regard? Showing empathy to teammates builds trust and healthy relationships regardless of status.

Outside of the workplace environment, empathy contributes to a better society as well.

Sharing Is Caring

As dolphins feed, the entirety of the pod takes turns. To capture a large enough bounty of fish, the pod must work in tandem to ensure that food is secured. This requires coordination and trust. As dolphins create an underwater cage of bubbles to keep fish centered, each dolphin will take a turn diving through the huddled fish. In this way, each member of the pod is well-fed. As one of many lessons about teamwork taught to us by dolphins, the act of sharing is an important ideal.

While most of us aren’t on the prowl for whitebait, we do all need praise for our efforts. A dolphin’s need is sustenance. While working as part of a team, we need a sense of belonging and appreciation. A well-fed team works better as a whole toward a task, whether it be hunting in the deep sea or mastering the art of teamwork in the office.

Communication Is Key

Communicating underwater may not be part of your job, but a dolphin’s ability to give and take directions offers one of many lessons about teamwork to consider. Via a system of clicks and whistles, as well as touch and gentle prodding, dolphins can perform complicated tasks. Getting to know your colleagues can lead to similar efficiency.

Dolphins learn to communicate with each other through play. As juveniles, dolphins mimic adults through mock hunts and maneuvers. This practice is akin to a team-building exercise. Completing a task together while having fun motivates an individual by providing an incentive to learning. The lessons about teamwork learned during these sessions last a lifetime.

All Work and No Play?

A dolphin’s playful nature is one of its most alluring features. Flying out of the water, flipping through the air, and chasing vessels – including the pirate ship Royal Conquest cruising through Boca Ciega Bay – are all part of the fun and games. In other words, a dolphin’s day isn’t all work. Taking time for one’s self to enjoy the world is an important factor in a healthy work environment.

The so-called daily grind can be just that: a grind. Stepping away, if even for a moment of relaxation, can provide a boost of energy and uplift the mind. Whether reading a book or chasing fish, finding time to play is important for both dolphins and humans. Though cetologists cannot confirm if a dolphin has ever had a menty-b, for humans, stress can affect one’s entire being.

Maintaining a proper balance of work and play goes a long way for both humans and dolphins. Don’t be afraid to go airborne every once in a while. Ultimately, learning about dolphins can be good for your health.

Learn more about dolphins in their natural environment aboard the Dolphin Quest, departing daily from John’s Pass at Madeira Beach, Florida. For more information, visit

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