Influence is the ability to have an effect on and persuade other people and events, thereby gaining favorable outcomes. In business, influence is usually exerted for immediate or eventual commercial gain. The power to influence is an ability that predisposes some people to enter the world of business. Those new to business can benefit from games that help develop persuasive skills.
Perhaps the best known board game in the world, "Monopoly," also happens to be a business game that can teach how to influence. Players develop property portfolios and can influence economic events and sway the actions of competing players by their purchasing and development decisions. Players often exert influence by accruing sets of properties of the same color group, thereby increasing their potential earning capacity. Other players must make decisions taking these factors into account.
The Business Literacy Institute (BLI) offers financial training programs, along with several other services. Their "Impact Game" is specially designed to teach participants how to make an impact within their organization. BLI can customize the learning objectives of the game to fit with an organization’s specific requirements. The game is intended to be engaging and entertaining, so participants enjoy the activity while gaining insight into how to influential individuals within their specific business environment.
Balderdash is a board game that features bluffing, where players need to appear convincing, with the aim of influencing other players about the definitions of words. Presenting answers in a credible and persuasive way are tactics that can win you the game, and develop your power to influence others.
There are several computer games featuring business operations, in which the power to influence events is key. These include "Lemonade Tycoon 2," "My Horse Farm," "Roller Coaster Tycoon," "The Sims 2: Open for Business" and "Zoo Tycoon."
Role-playing, where, for example, one employee or supervisor plays the part of a potential client to see how the trainee would react, is also an example of play with the purpose of enhancing the power to influence. Business simulation games are sophisticated role-playing scenarios that teams, departments or even whole companies can take part in. Many “household name” companies believe simulation games have something to offer their employees. Typically, a simulation will be designed to be specifically relevant to a company’s business operations. Participants are thereby able to practice the art of influencing colleagues and business partners in a safe, non-critical environment, and receive verbal assessment of their endeavors.
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