I recently had an experience where the other person, over a period of time, had exhibited certain behaviors that soon became predictable. As time passed and a noticeable pattern began to emerge, the game of chess came to mind.
“Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with insight and knowledge, and by learning lessons that are accumulated along to way, we become each and every piece within the game called life?” –Alan Rufus
It occurred to me that I was facing my interactions as if I was playing chess. Each move I made or response to this person became a calculated action. After each experience, I would analyze my “moves” and determine ahead of time my next potential strategic step depending on which direction this person decided to go.
This was a rather fascinating and interesting phenomenon as I experienced this in real-time and while in conscious awareness of both my moves and the other person’s moves. Being in this higher awareness state, I became more of an observer with the ability to better control the direction of the interaction ensuring the most positive outcome for myself.
What I learned throughout this amazing realization and ultimate knowledge gained from watching and observing is invaluable. Below are some highlights that I wish to share. Perhaps you may also find yourself “playing” chess with precision and strategic finesses bringing about the best results of your leadership and professional skills.
Great chess players take specific actions during the game. At the beginning of the relationship, things were great, everything seemed collaborative and cooperative. Within a short period of time, it became clear I needed to take a closer look beyond the surface. A bird’s eye view, along with the pattern emerging, became the foundation for my understanding this person’s intent. Identifying their specific actions, I could in turn counter with my own pre-calculated actions.
Each chess player surveys the board. They survey the board from above and look for patterns that indicate the intent of their opponent, as well as identifying opportunities for themselves. Once I could pinpoint the intent behind the pattern, it gave me the ability to determine opportunities I could act upon moving forward. As I decided on ways to respond, knowing what would most likely happen, I was ready for my next move. This kept me in the advantage, one step ahead, as I knew what was going to happen next based on the pattern.
Players are willing to give up a weaker piece or position in one area to create an advantage in another. In the process of observing and developing strategic actions, I had to consider where I needed to be to create the advantage of being the stronger “player.” The other person was using manipulation and control tactics to try and sway my decision making. This lead me to look at where I may be showing a weakness they were tapping into. Once I realized this weak link in me that was a trigger for the other person to come in for the attack, I readjusted my communication from a more affirmative stance. This became a message of commanding my space, as is done in the game of chess.
(Side note: boundaries were key in this area, a very common weak point that others will find who are masters at control and manipulation. No matter how strong we think our boundaries are, it seems there will be people who can crush them, ultimately, though we become stronger because of being challenged in this area. As in my case, this is what happened.)
Extraordinary chess players are constantly driven by a singular goal – to win the game. As in my experience, the other person was in the experience to “win.” However, because of this person’s lack of analytical and strategic maneuvers, my goal to “win” and be victorious in my leadership capabilities, I used time effectively – choosing to take quick action when needed and stepped back to analyze before making a decision as guided, for the ultimate positive outcome.
Leadership has become a far more complex and complicated job in modern times. Problems faced, variety in the personalities of those you lead and the uncertainty of not just the future, but of tomorrow, can be difficult to deal with daily. Perhaps, imagine you are in the game of chess, take the time to step back and determine how well you are playing. Do you feel your attention is being drawn to what is most important and you are using your strengths to create the best, most efficient end result?
Originally published by Bizcatalyst360
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