The world of business can be downright brutal. Whether you are dealing with a cutthroat salesman trying to shake your corporate money tree or just the day to day office politics that hide behind the politically correct plastic smiles of the cubicle jungle, you need to be able to stay on your toes and survive the day. Not just for your own good, but for the good of the company. There’s a reason that many successful business programs are modeled on the martial arts (ever heard of Six Sigma?). Good bosses want their employees to succeed, rise above the challenges, and bring the whole team with them. Here are seven martial arts and self-defense tools your boss wants you to know in order to get ahead:
1. Strike First
While not politically correct in today’s world of zero-tolerance policies and prosecuted victims – in the business world you have to harness your inner Cobra Kai and be ready at any given time to take initiative on opportunities the second they appear. In a self-defense situation, it is best to strike at the very first opportunity once it is clear that your safety is threatened. We don’t need to wait for the assailant to initiate physical aggression. In business, there are often cues we can read before a situation becomes critical, and we have to keep our eyes open so that we can avoid disaster (or swoop in to close a deal). Yes, unlike Cobra Kai, we can still act morally, but when the opportunity presents itself, there is no room for hesitation … success is attracted to speed!
2. Side Step/Pivot
Whether it’s office intrigue or hardcore bargaining, it is often best to sidestep an attack in order to advance toward the goal.
Not every insult and insinuation needs to be answered and not every counteroffer needs to be considered. When the train comes, it’s best to get off the tracks rather than trying to convince the engineer that he’s in your way. Whether facing down a wicked right hook or a bit of forceful dealing with unsavory customers, it is best to not be there when the attack comes. Avoid the chaos so that you can stay focused on the goal at hand.
3. Know Your Tools
In a self-defense situation it becomes very important to know what tools you have at hand, and how to use them. If you have a gun, you had BETTER have trained to use it appropriately, if all you have is a newspaper, a bit of knowledge can turn it into a weapon worthy of the battlefield, if you take martial arts classes, think of potential realities and train for them so your mind and body are ready.
In the office, it is also important to educate yourself on the tools available to you. Taking a course in advanced Microsoft Excel could increase your productivity, knowing how to clear a paper jam in the copier could make you the office hero. Knowledge is power, make sure you have it!
4. Adapt On The Go
No matter how hard you train, all it takes is one unforeseen obstacle to throw your plan to the wind. A punch to the face, a slip on some loose gravel, a second attacker you didn’t notice … all of a sudden your whole day is ruined. But still, we have to train, even knowing that we can never plan for everything.
In the office, your best idea may fail suddenly when the technology decides not to cooperate, or when your key player calls in sick. Be able to adapt the plan, remain flexible, and step in to pick up the slack. When your plan fails — and eventually it will — accept it and move forward rather than clinging to the shred of a great idea that was never meant to be.
5. Creatively Call for Help
In a self-defense situation, getting backup can turn the tide of a fight. But many people simply do not care enough to get involved, or fall victim to the thought that somebody ‘should’ do something. When in danger we need to appeal to the deeper fears of our fellow man to get the help we need. Yelling “FIRE!” is far more likely to attract attention than any plea for help. When performing first aid or CPR after an incident, it is important to single out an individual to get help rather than just saying help is needed.
When your plan has failed, a bit of help can be the driving force behind a project’s success. When asking for help, be creative. Let the person know how much the project would benefit from their input and expertise. When assigning a task to a team member, be sure to be specific about whose job it is. Instead of looking helpless and in need of rescuing, remain positive and proactive, and let others know that their contribution will be meaningful.
6. Be the First to Tell
After surviving an attack, it is important to be the first to call the authorities. Not only does it look good and allow your story to be heard first, but it also allows you to get the help you need. A self-defense situation does not end when the attack is over. There may be a need for medical attention; rape kits, psychological counseling to help with PTSD, etc. Most immediately though, the last thing you need is for the police to come looking for you because the nice thug down the road said you broke his jaw when he leaned in for an innocent smooch.
If you make a mistake in the office, admit it. Then commit to fixing it. Much like the police , your boss does not want to have to find the mistake or have it reported to him by someone outside of the team … like the customer. If it’s beyond your ability to fix, admitting the mistake at least lets your team and management mobilize so that when questions do come in from outside, your boss can respond that the team has the situation well in hand.
7. Never Stop Fighting and The Fight Can Never Be Over
In general, a rapist wants to get in, get his deed done, and get out. He does not want a prolonged struggle and a victim who makes his life difficult. The number one thing a would be victim can do to avoid being raped once engaged is to fight back … viciously, and continually. When being beaten in a group attack, you are no longer fighting another man, or human being, you are battling the mob mentality. If you stop fighting it only fuels their passion to beat you. Fight back, fight hard, fight dirty, fight your way out … then RUN! It is nearly impossible to defeat an opponent who has committed to fighting to the bitter end. They always find a way to stand back up.
If you have a task at work, be tenacious in following through. Attack it as if your career depends on it. If it’s beating you down, fight back using all the tools at your disposal, the assistance of your team, an adaptable mindset, and some fancy footwork. If you keep your focus on success it will be very hard to come out a failure. So much of your success in your professional life will depend on your mindset, so be sure to remain positive and confident and your self-defense skills will work for you at work.
If you are in the Glens Falls, South Glens Falls, or Queensbury areas and want to test-drive our Adult Martial Arts Program, click below to schedule your first class for free: