Hone Your Business Skills through Hobbies

  • business-hobbies
Daniel Tannenbaum, Tudor Lodge Consultants

The benefits of having a hobby go far beyond personal happiness and well-being, and it’s crucial to recognise because it often goes unnoticed as we sharpen up our skill set without even realising it. These skills will not only serve you well in life but also, in business or your work. In my experience, having a multitude of hobbies has allowed me to develop some incredible skills that have helped me to flourish in the business space. In doing so, you too will hone skills that allow you to become a successful and award-winning business leader.

From making analytical predictions to communicating as a unit and learning how to manage your time and money better, as well as understanding how to rate your performance to achieve wider success, here are the business skills you could hone by taking part in certain pastimes.

Communication Skills

Hobbies exist due to a community gravitating around a shared interest, and while not all activities are especially social and instead, solitary, they do still all involve an extensive amount of communication, as evidenced by the amount of time spent either talking, writing, chatting and debating with like-minded individuals. When talking about hobbies, there is no pressure, but instead, fun and entertainment, which makes communication seem quite easy. It is also critical in some activities. Take football. It’s a team game that many boys and girls begin to play from a young age, but how successful can a team be if their communication is almost non-existent? The same is true of business.

These days, it is more and more commonplace for companies to operate on a remote basis, with a workforce spread out internationally. In this case, there are many instant messaging services that allow communication to carry on unimpacted by not having a shared workspace. That said, most operations are still office-based but are as reliant on communication, so pick a game that requires such a skill. Team games work as excellent communication games that also help develop colleague bonding.

Competition and Competitive Spirit

Most hobbies and pursuits require their participants to have a competitive spirit. Chess is one such complex game that will help to teach you a skill set that translates easily to the business world. Imagine setting up your first business and needing to predict and forecast certain outcomes. But it almost goes without saying that chess requires a serious and strong competitive edge. Because of this, it is vital that players nurture an urge to win and never-say-lose mentality as well as a self-belief that allows them to deliver results under pressure. Playing poker, a game of incomplete information, can also be a teaching tool for business.

After all, making calculated moves are often required despite the lack of knowing what comes next. Likewise, you face the same uncertainty in business where you don’t know the extent of your competitors’ plans or even what your customers will do next. Because of this, you must maximise what you can with the information available. You may even learn to read when your rivals bluff, and when it’s time for you to fold and come up with a new plan of action.

Coping with Losing

In life, as in business, coping with defeat is a much-needed ability. After all, mental toughness is vital and imperative for anyone chasing success. However, in all competitions, it is likely you will taste defeat at some point. In games like tennis and golf or even darts, the chances of correcting a bad result come quickly as the next set, hole or leg is only moments away, allowing for instant resolution so long as you keep your head. The same is almost true of poker, as another hand is usually only minutes from starting, and yet, because of the financial threats of the game, many people suffer from what is known in poker circles as ‘tilt’ where they lose their cool and make incorrect and rash moves, which almost always leads to defeat.

As such, many view a game of Texas Hold ‘em, a variant of poker in which your aim is to bankrupt your opponents and take their money by lying and being deceitful, as similar to the reading of stocks of shares and making correct predictions. Most hobbies do require some amount of financial management, so a game like Omaha Hi-Lo is better for teaching you how to guard your money, assess profits and generally, work with a budget, all of which will be excellent for your business.

Patience is Key

Let’s face it: learning a new skill takes time, and it is all too easy to get frustrated and give up if things don’t go well immediately. But a good sport is all about persistence, and it’s easy to pick one that you could play and improve your patience skills. Regarding sports, a game like cricket played out over a long time sometimes days even is a perfect patience builder. Or give bridge a try. It’s another strategical card game and an extreme, mental sport, even more in-depth than poker. After all, that is what patience is all about, preparing to invest time and resources for future benefit. Benefit that you should soon feel in the boardroom if you apply your new skills to your work.


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