Board Games as a Key to Professional Advancement

by Joe Lavelle on March 22, 2010

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My life’s passion is enabled through my work as a career coach.  As such, I regularly share many ways that you can bring a jump start to your professional advancement.  Do you want a promotion?  Do you think you are long overdue for a raise?  These changes are more under your control than you think!

One of the pieces of advice that I offer is to make time for an activity that I take quite seriously–play!  We need to give our minds and our brains time to re-energize after long hours of working towards professional goals.  Otherwise, after a certain point our contributions in the office hit a point of diminishing returns.

I specifically point out the value of games such as crosswords and jigsaw puzzles as mental exercises, but I also like to get down on the floor on a regular basis and play a board game.  You can’t take yourself too seriously when you are moving a game piece through the Land of Lollipops or down a slide after stealing cookies from the jar!  And, think about some of the important lessons these childhood games can teach you:

1. Sorry — A fine apology has an art to it, and admitting when you are wrong is essential for your professional growth.  Granted, in this board game the “sorry” may be a bit sarcastic as you knock your opponent back to their starting point, but you still get to practice the words.

2. Life — It’s important to be aware of the balancing act that we all must face as adults.  Are you paying enough attention to your growing family?  Are you accepting a new job because it builds upon your dreams, or simply because of the paycheck?  (Which can be OK, too, but be honest about your intentions)  Have you purchased car fire insurance?

3. Operation — If you approach a patient on a surgery table and his skin makes a loud buzzing sound when you are not precise with your instruments, call a medical journal immediately and get the evidence on film!

What were some of your favorite childhood games?  What do you think we can learn from them as adults?

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