Mind games to be a better leader


Merriam Webster defines “thoughts games” as, “A mental tactic used to manipulate or intimidate—most often utilized in plural.”

That’s just one definition.

Some firms promote “thoughts games” to describe methods and tutorial subject matter which can be meant to educate your mind. The purveyors of those thoughts games promise miraculous effects. Depending on who’s promoting the thoughts sport, you may fend off psychological decline. You may get a lot smarter.

There’s additionally a a lot more mundane definition. The time period “thoughts games” is used for puzzles and different issues that problem your thoughts. Several desk games are on this staff.

I’ve were given any other. My definition is: “techniques to suppose to help you be a better boss.” Here are 3 of them.

What If?

This is the most straightforward type of a thoughts sport. When you play “What If?” you take into consideration extraordinary issues that would occur. Then, you give some concept to what you must do about it. For example, in the event you are living in earthquake nation, you may determine what to do if there was once an earthquake.

I’ve observed other folks in high-risk occupations from police, hearth, and army use this to get ready their minds for what differently may marvel them. I’ve observed trade planners use it to determine what they’ll do if they have got an embarrassing incident, if an act of God that makes distribution inconceivable, or they finish up with a runaway hit.

Think about what may occur. Think about the way you’d develop into acutely aware of the location and what you’d do subsequent.


Similarly, If/then is a easy thoughts sport and a tough making plans software. Identify a state of affairs or one thing that would occur. It may just be easy, like “If it’s raining outdoor…” or extra vital, like “If two of my workforce individuals get the COVID virus on the identical time…”

Then, determine how to reply. Sometimes, you’ll change the phrase “when” for the phrase “if.”


WOOP is officially referred to as “psychological contrasting.” It will assist you to take a look at the feasibility of your objectives and determine how to reach them. Here are the stairs.

Wish: You might need to drop some pounds, or get promoted, or run a marathon.

Outcome: Where you describe what it’s going to appear to be, really feel like, or sound like while you reach your function. This can be both your complete finish function or one thing you will have to reach alongside the way in which.

Obstacle: What do you could have to do or what will get in the way in which of you reaching your function?

Plan: How will you triumph over that impediment? What occurs at this level is that you simply both to find that the impediment is greater than you’ll take care of, otherwise you expand a mini-plan for coping with it. It may be an If/then plan.

Mental contrasting was once advanced by means of professor Gabriele Oettingen. She’s written a whole e book about it, however the most efficient clarification I’ve observed is in Eric Barker’s, Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

WOOP permits you to put issues in combination. You can convey your what-ifs and if/thens and fact checking out all into one procedure. You won’t need to do this very ceaselessly, but it surely’s a nice thoughts sport.

Play with others

You don’t have to play those thoughts games on your own. In truth, there are advantages to taking part in with others. When you contain other folks, particularly your workforce individuals, you’ll uncover extra problems. There will be extra concepts about what you must do.

This is a good way for workforce individuals to get to know each and every different and to paintings in combination. There’s an added advantage of workforce individuals polishing their pondering towards others. And you don’t want to all be in the similar position to play.


Some thoughts games assist you to be a better boss.

Play “What if?” to take at the surprising.

Play “If/then” to take into consideration conceivable responses.

Play WOOP to watch for hindrances and come to a decision your reaction.

Play with others to imagine extra choices and sharpen your pondering.

This article at the start seemed on Wally Bock’s weblog Three Star Leadership and is reprinted with permission.


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