Learning how to succeed in business can come from a variety of diverse sources. It may include mentors, managers and multiple teams of staffers that you meet during your career. Inspiration for solid business practices may also result from other life experiences, including sports. The three business lessons I learned from the batting cage cover everything from teamwork, focus and managing conflicts.
For example, every organization professes some ground rules regarding exemplary team work with the end game of keeping folks cohesive. At the batting cage, there is a rule about “not swinging your bat around” outside of the cage. The goal is to avoid blindsiding your peers by taking a “swing” at their business tactics. In addition, don’t “hit” your peers with chatter that may spark office gossip.
Another batting cage business lesson includes keeping your eye on the ball. Remember the last time you were given a task at the office and you were so excited about getting it done? Fast forward two weeks into the process and your mind may wander onto other goals or projects which reduce the steam that powered your previous task. When you keep your focus on your project, that helps you maintain eye contact on the results.
The final business lesson I learned from the batting cage is about “wearing my helmet” at all times when I am at “play.” The helmet serves as a metaphor for wearing my thinking cap so that I can generate ideas as well as spark innovation in the office. In addition, the helmet will protect me from taking criticism or coaching as a personal attack. By taking a step back to assess the comments tossed towards me, I can avoid potential office conflicts. Moreover, the helmet will help me take everything in context so that a cooler head can prevail and stay in the game.
Tracey Batacan is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.
Photo from Flickr user H. Michael Miley