Being in a business meeting can often be looked upon as something of a game, as all parties hold their cards close to their chest and business strategies play out in real time.
It is hard to find that buzz anywhere else in life, apart from if you play sport in your free time, or perhaps if you enjoy gaming online.
However, maybe the most similar experience can be found in the form of a classic card game that has since transferred seamlessly over to mobile and desktop platforms.
Poker is that game, requiring many business-related skills from its players, including being quick on the draw with numbers, as well as being able to read their opponents.
Here are some of the things that businessmen and women can learn from different aspects of poker strategy and playing style.
Being patient in business is key no matter what level you operate at. If you ask for that price hike too soon it could backfire, and if you make promises before having all the relevant data to hand you will end up with egg on your face.
The exact same rules apply to poker, with a long tournament requiring players to bide their time so that they are ready to pounce on the slightest of slips from their rivals.
That can be easier said than done as the rounds tick by and a player’s stack reduces, but having that patience is often what sets the good players apart from the average players.
Everything you do under the gaze of someone else relays telling information, so all business people need to be aware of the subliminal signals that their bodies are giving off.
Live poker players are used to this sort of scrutiny, with each pair of eyes sat around a table firmly on them when it is their turn to act.
Any poker player will tell you the most obvious tells that someone is bluffing are fidgety hands, exaggerated blinking and a bulging neck vein.
While we do not suggest you begin heading into the boardroom wearing sunglasses and a scarf, it is worth taking note of what your tells might be.
Keeping Your Cool
Whether you are interacting with an irritating client or with a member of your team that you just can’t get on with, it is important to always take a deep breath and remain calm, because losing your cool will only hinder you from getting what you want.
Exactly the same can be said of poker, where opponents purposefully adopt tactics that will use your emotions against you if they sense that you are close to going on tilt after a bad piece of luck or a frustrating round of play.
Knowing When to Strike
Of course, while being patient is a good quality to have, it can also be a drawback if you consistently fail to strike while the iron is hot, which could mean that big deal begins to slip through your fingertips.
Killer instinct is something that people are born with and it is difficult to teach, but playing poker can certainly help. The game’s mechanics force you to be ruthless if you are going to make it all the way to that final table and earn the lion’s share of the prize pool.
Online poker sites now regularly run bounty tournaments, where the need for a killer instinct is heightened yet further still, so if you find yourself in need of being sharpened up, why not give one of them a go?
Do Not Be a Bad Winner or a Sore Loser
In business, life, and gaming there can only ever be one winner, and a lot can be learned about a person’s true character when they either triumph or fail.
Being gracious in both situations is the true sign of a business or poker champion.