Chess is estimated to be played by hundreds of millions of people in more than 150 countries around the world. Their motivations vary, but they all have one thing in common: they want to unwind, exercise their minds, and socialize with others who share their interests. Can chess, on the other hand, help with other aspects of modern life? Will your time spent on the chessboard help you in your professional role as well?
The good news for chess fans is that there are many skills learned while playing the game that can be transferred to the business world. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it does provide a brief overview of some of the most important chess tips and tricks – and how they can be applied in a professional setting to advance your career prospects.
1. Initial impressions
Any chess player worth his or her salt will have a number of strong chess openings at their disposal to set their stall, put their opponent on the back foot, and pave the way for future success. The same is true in business; whether it’s a new job interview, a board meeting, or a raise negotiation, getting off to a good start is critical. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, especially in business, so take a cue from your chess game and start with confidence and zeal.
2. Planning ahead of time
“Every victory, every loss, everything you do in life will boil down to your next five moves,” writes the author of a Wall Street Journal number one bestseller. That is as true in chess as it is in your career because planning ahead of time to stay one step ahead of the competition is critical to achieving your objectives. You should consider not only how to steer your company in the right direction, but also how your competitors might react and what you should do next to capitalize on your advantage.
3. Avoiding stumbling blocks
Chess is all about laying traps for your opponent to fall into – but you must keep in mind that they will do the same for you. As a result, you must remain hyper-vigilant and keep track of all of the game’s moving parts, even as you devise and implement your own strategy. The business world presents similar challenges; while it may not be as adversarial or aggressive, there are always unforeseen circumstances that will slow you down and trip you up. Identifying and avoiding such pitfalls is critical to business success.
4. Solving problems
Every new day at work is likely to bring with it new challenges to overcome and problems to solve. There is evidence that chess can improve cognitive and academic skills, according to a recent study published in the scientific journal Educational Research Review. The ability to encounter new issues, remain calm under pressure, and find a solution is just as important in chess as it is in a professional setting, so take heart from the lessons learned in the former and apply them where applicable in the latter.
Chess is more than just a relaxing and stimulating pastime; it’s also excellent brain training for a variety of situations you’re likely to face in business.
Learn more from business and read 6 Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Have On Their Resumes.