How Poker Can Make You a Better Management Professional

Playing games can benefit your work life. Teamwork activities like escape rooms foster trust and collaboration among colleagues. Meanwhile, playing video games teaches you how to build expertise with consistent effort to move on to the next level. Aside from these, there’s one other game you may not expect to benefit your career—especially as a management professional. It’s the ever-famous game of poker, and below, we’ll enumerate how it can make you a better management professional:

It promotes awareness of other people’s emotions

As someone in a managerial position, it’s crucial that you’re attuned to employee needs. After all, you are responsible for leading people and providing them with the necessary resources to do their jobs. One way to gauge these needs is by reading body language. Reading people is vital if you want to win at poker, and the game can hone this particular skill. Even the most minor actions and facial expressions imply your opponent’s hand or next action, so you must pay attention. Another way to practice awareness of people’s emotions is through active listening. Make an effort to understand what they are saying instead of listening just to give a response. Doing so gives you a better idea of their true feelings. It also provides an avenue for you to offer your assistance.

It helps with better decision-making

Anything can happen in poker. You may think you have a strong hand, but an opponent’s facial expression implying confidence may suggest that they have a better hand. In this case, you must decide: will you fold or call? This is precisely how poker leads to better decision-making—multiple rounds of weighing possibilities and intense thinking exercise your decision-making skills. You learn from experience and the consequences of your actions, prompting you to think deeper when it leads to failure and take note of what you did right when it brings success. This helps you make better decisions as a management professional, primarily since employees rely on you to lead them.

It sparks your creative skills

One characteristic of a trained management professional is creativity. When encountering problems at work, thinking out of the box leads to unlikely—yet highly effective—solutions. Poker boosts your creative skills by encouraging you to think of your next move, analyze your opponents, and evaluate your options. As you gain more experience, you’ll get better at thinking up creative ways to trick your opponents, such as faking facial expressions or body language. This can carry over into your work life by compelling you to think out of the box to achieve success: an essential quality that will help you guide employees and solve problems as a management professional.

It teaches you to remain calm under pressure

Keeping a poker face on the table prevents other players from getting information on a hand that you may or may not have. Even when you’re nervous about bluffing or excited about having a strong hand, it’s critical that you maintain a neutral expression so as not to give yourself away. This helps you as a management professional since you get a lot of pressure from higher-ups, clients, and employees. Remaining calm enables you to make the best decisions despite the pressure. It allows you to lead your team more efficiently, solve problems, and effectively do your managerial job.

Poker makes you a better management professional by helping you in decision-making, promoting emotional intelligence, honing your creativity, and teaching you to remain calm under pressure. Play a round of poker today to acquire these benefits.

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