Mind games to be a better leader

p 1 play these 3 mind games to be a better leader

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

That’s just one definition.

Some firms promote “thoughts games” to describe packages and tutorial materials which might be supposed to practice your mind. The purveyors of those thoughts games promise miraculous outcomes. Relying on who’s promoting the thoughts recreation, you may fend off psychological decline. You may get a lot smarter.


There’s additionally a rather more mundane definition. The time period “thoughts games” is used for puzzles and different issues that problem your thoughts. A number of desk games are on this group.

I’ve bought one other. My definition is: “methods to suppose that may make it easier to be a better boss.” Listed below are three of them.

What If?

That is the only type of a thoughts recreation. If you play “What If?” you concentrate on uncommon issues that would occur. Then, you give some thought to what it is best to do about it. As an example, in case you stay in earthquake nation, you may determine what to do if there was an earthquake.

I’ve seen folks in high-risk occupations from police, fireplace, and army use this to put together their minds for what in any other case may shock them. I’ve seen enterprise planners use it to determine what they are going to do if they’ve an embarrassing incident, if an act of God that makes distribution not possible, or they wind up with a runaway hit.

Take into consideration what may occur. Take into consideration the way you’d develop into conscious of the state of affairs and what you’d do subsequent.


Equally, If/then is a easy thoughts recreation and a highly effective planning software. Establish a state of affairs or one thing that would occur. It might be easy, like “If it’s raining outdoors…” or extra vital, like “If two of my group members get the COVID virus on the similar time…”


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


WOOP is formally often called “psychological contrasting.” It’ll make it easier to check the feasibility of your objectives and work out how to obtain them. Listed below are the steps.

Want: It’s your decision to drop extra pounds, or get promoted, or run a marathon.

Consequence: The place you describe what it should seem like, really feel like, or sound like whenever you obtain your aim. This could be both the entire finish aim or one thing it’s essential to obtain alongside the best way.

Impediment: What do you’ve gotten to do or what will get in the best way of you attaining your aim?

Plan: How will you overcome that impediment? What occurs at this level is that you just both discover that the impediment is greater than you may deal with, otherwise you develop a mini-plan for coping with it. It’d be an If/then plan.

Psychological contrasting was developed by professor Gabriele Oettingen. She’s written a complete guide about it, however one of the best rationalization I’ve seen is in Eric Barker’s, Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

WOOP allows you to put issues collectively. You’ll be able to convey your what-ifs and if/thens and actuality testing all into one course of. Chances are you’ll not need to do that fairly often, however it’s a nice thoughts recreation.

Play with others

You don’t have to play these thoughts games by your self. In truth, there are advantages to taking part in with others. If you contain different folks, particularly your group members, you’ll uncover extra points. There’ll be extra concepts about what it is best to do.

That is a smart way for group members to get to know one another and to work collectively. There’s an added good thing about group members sharpening their pondering in opposition to others. And also you don’t want to all be in the identical place to play.


Some thoughts games may also help you be a better boss.


Play “What if?” to tackle the surprising.

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

Play WOOP to anticipate obstacles and resolve your response.

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

This article initially appeared on Wally Bock’s weblog Three Star Leadership and is reprinted with permission.