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Batter up! Tone your business skills

by on
in Office Management,Workplace Communication

Baseball, America's favorite pastime, may also be a way to hone your business skills this summer. If your company has its own baseball team, cycling club or any other sport, consider signing on. It could do more than tone your muscles.

Manage adrenaline and ignore distractions. Good athletes know how to shut out distractions, so they become one with the ball. They use coping skills, such as deep breathing or positive mental imagery, to keep adrenaline or excitement from interfering with the task at hand. You’ll learn to deploy the same skills and stay calm during a contentious meeting or interruption-filled day.

Listen. That’s an important skill in team sports. You can’t selectively decide when it’s important to know what others are thinking, saying or planning. Listening can make the difference between winning one for the team and losing.

When John Hart, the owner of Selection.com, took up team-formation skydiving, he realized, “I couldn’t randomly decide what I wanted to listen to.” The more he paid attention to his teammates, the more he realized that he had not been listening well to his business customers. So he started listening, made product changes and watched his sales skyrocket.

Never let failure bring you down. Even the greatest hitters in baseball are pleased to hit .300, which means they fail 70 percent of the time. Athletes tend to grow comfortable with the “win some, lose some” philosophy. They also learn that persistence pays.

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