Playing scrabble can help you become a better businessman. Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. Scrabble is much more than just a word game. It’s actually considered to be a game of strategy that can teach you analytical thinking, concentration, and certain creativity. Don’t you think you need all these skills when you’re in business? Even when you cheat a little or you simply prepare for a game with tools like word unscrambler, you keep learning and improving. There are scrabble strategies that you can use in real life and useful skills you can hone by playing regularly. But how, you may ask? How playing scrabble can improve your business capabilities?
- Try different perspectives. Sometimes you stare endlessly at your letters and you aren’t able to see any words. Very often, it’s enough to shuffle them a little bit to have something pop to your mind immediately. This is an important lesson – there are situations that need to be looked at from various angles. There always is a solution, but sometimes you need a different trigger to find it.
- The strategy is essential. In business, just like in scrabble, you need to plan ahead, even when you know that other players (competitors) may block you on your way. Don’t hold on to your best letters while playing, and don’t save your best assets for later in business, because there may be no later for you. When you play, you try to maximize your points, and you should always try to maximize your profits while negotiating, buying or selling in real life. Reasonably, of course.
- Don’t be afraid to use your best assets. Of course, there are times when it’s better to wait for the perfect situation, but most often, you need to play what you got. Just like you shouldn’t be saving your highest point letters for later, you also shouldn’t wait out any opportunities or waste your current competencies only to gain others.
- See the bigger picture. Very often while playing scrabble, people focus only on their own tiles without considering the board. That’s how they miss amazing opportunities – sometimes all you have to do is use one of your letters to expand an existing word. Business is similar – set yourself a big picture goal and consider all possible factors influencing your way to reaching it. Don’t only focus on what you’ve got.
- Play for yourself. When you play scrabble, you don’t want to use great letters only to create an even greater opportunity for your competitors; you don’t play double-word score square if you know that your opponent can make it triple. Consider every offer carefully, don’t bid only to challenge someone, and take care of your clients so that they don’t have to go looking for another provider and get stolen by the competition. Be defensive.
- Think about what you have, not about what you haven’t. In scrabble, there are players who spend most time complaining about their letters and the board: if only I had an A, I could… We have all heard that, but it leads to nowhere. Focus on what’s in your hands right now. Yes, it’s important to keep looking for opportunities, but don’t wait idly.
- The rich vocabulary and correct spelling are vital. Both in scrabble and in business, it’s essential to know proper words and be able to spell them right. During the game, you may get challenged and lose your points, while at work, you can end up sending an email with a typo or making a mistake in a report or your Linkedin profile which all can send a meaningful message to your current and potential colleagues, managers or partners. Make sure you always proofread what you write, just like you think carefully about playing words in scrabble.
- The first impression is the most important. In scrabble, the first word sets the tone for the whole game, and you probably know (or at least you can guess) how important the first impression is in the business world, especially if you work in sales or marketing. Sometimes there’s no going back from it so be sure that you’re always well-prepared, that you state your proposition clearly, that you’re confident and compelling.
- Sometimes you lose, but you keep learning. You can’t always be the best, especially in the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with failures, as long as you can learn from them. In scrabble, you can learn from more experienced and better opponents, and so can you learn from your business competitors and partners. Stay open and don’t get discouraged.
- Try to enjoy it. The business may be tough and get too much about money, just like scrabble can get too competitive. However, it’s important to maintain the balance, for the sake of your own sanity.
Play scrabble and you will see everything differently. You will be able to look at various situations from different sides, assess risks and decide if it’s the right time to take it. Plus, the latest research shows that playing board games can actually help you maintain a sharp mind and clarity for longer in older age, and even reduce the risk of dementia. Isn’t it worth it? Especially that scrabble, while it may get a bit competitive sometimes, is mostly fun.