Sharpen your skills – How Poker Can Make You Better in Business
We hear all the time that the key to succeeding in any pursuit is practice. But, where can women (and anyone else) practice their business skills in a risk-free environment? It’s the poker table. Now, we’re not talking about the poker table at the casino; you’ve got to put your own money at risk there. We’re talking about the POKERprimaDIVAS aka PokerDivas approach where the poker table is a training tool. We use the fun and strategy of poker as a way to analyze, improve, and practice business skills like “reading” others, negotiating, bluffing, dealing with bullies, recovering from loss, and playing to win.
Top 12 Poker Skills that Will Help You in Business
Poker will teach you how to how to negotiate your way into or out-of anything, increase your power and confidence, read and interpret non-verbal cues, become more bold and assertive, manage risk and recover from loss, and escape out of your comfort zone. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. ACTING ASSERTIVELY AND STRATEGICALLY. Figure out what you want, develop a game plan to get you there, and CHARGE AHEAD. Learn to be focused on your goals and fearless in your pursuit.
2. READING NON-VERBAL CUES. Pay attention to non-verbal cues or ‘tells’, the actions and mannerisms that help you get a read on a competitor.
3. PERFECTING YOUR POKER FACE. A pair of sunglasses may help you at the poker table, but at the board room table you need to learn to keep your cool no matter how the cards fall. Practice keeping your emotions off your face.
4. PLAYING TO WIN INSTEAD OF PLAYING NOT TO LOSE. Many people play to protect what they have rather than going ‘all-in’, risking their stack to win the whole pot. Don’t be afraid to project the bravado and confidence to get what you want and deserve.
5. KNOWING WHO AND WHEN TO BLUFF. You don’t need the best hand to win, you just need for people to THINK you have the best hand. Focus on playing the people at the table and not just the cards in your hands.
6. DEALING WITH A BULLY. A bully is someone that plays too aggressively. The best way to win against a bully is to make them pay for their reckless behavior. Bullies are often big bluffers, so push back when it makes sense and call them on their bets. Wait until you have the upper hand, and then play to win.
7. SECURING THE UPPER HAND IN NEGOTIATIONS. A weak player in a strong position has an advantage over a strong player in a weak position. The last to act or talk has the advantage of knowing what the other person wants before they begin to negotiate. Learn to play your position.
8. RECOVERING QUICKLY FROM A LOSS. Not every hand is a winner. It is possible to do everything right and still lose. Going on ’tilt’, or being overly emotional about your loss, will hurt your ability to move on to the next opportunity. Don’t let your emotions undermine your intelligence. There’s always another hand.
9. TAKING CALCULATED RISKS WITH CONFIDENCE. The word ‘risk’ often evokes a negative connotation but it is also what allows you the chance of hitting a big win. No matter what the outcome, you’ll gain courage just by making the attempt. Embrace taking the lead. Be the bettor, not the caller.
10. TUNING IN AND TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION. The facts are important, but don’t ignore your gut. Women have good intuition. Use it!
11. MAKING THE MOST OF THE HAND YOU HAVE BEEN DEALT. 80% of the time you will not get good cards, so play the people and your position. If the cards are not on your side, learn to walk away. If you’re on a lucky streak, play it hard.
12. FORCING COMPETITORS TO PAY TO PLAY. Don’t give anyone a free card. Make the cost of entry high enough so your competitors have to think twice about playing in your game.