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Fantasy Baseball – A Game of Conflict Resolution

Fantasy BaseballFantasy baseball is a great virtual pastime, but it has some very real value lessons in terms of leadership. Give it a try, and you may find yourself thinking a little more like a coach. Rather than judging by hits, on-base percentage and strike-outs, you may see project deadlines, schedule advancements and blocked risks. The coach mentality can be a great asset (or hat to wear) in business. What leadership lessons can be learned from fantasy sports? In honor of fantasy baseball just kicking into gear, let’s dive in deeper to see just how many scenarios come into play.

Fantasy Baseball Fever

Fantasy baseball takes the game to a place where serious baseball fans and those more generally inspired by statistics can meet. Diehard fans of a specific time may find themselves conflicted because their previous team loyalty can contradict with the demands of their fantasy team. For business people, playing the game can focus your attention on the basic facts underlying your work team. What are each team-player’s statistics going into this year? Do you predict that these statistics may rise or fall? When attempting to resolve differences between employees, a clear understanding of each person’s value to the workplace, both in the present and in the future, can allow you to negotiate roles in a way that suits the bottom line.

Commission Mission

Fantasy BaseballWhen playing fantasy baseball, you may be asked to be the commissioner of a league. Responsibilities involve setting up the league and its rules, scheduling the draft and resolving disputes that occur during the season. Some of the most important decisions are made during the planning stage: the type of league will you set up, the number of teams on the league, the type of draft will you use and specifics on the scoring rules. Similarly, in business, the most important choices are often made beforehand. In taking on a leadership role, the personality you exude and the rules that you establish can allow you to utilize your Fantasy Baseball negotiation skills with relative ease.

Tricks of the Trade

When trading team members, the basic law in fantasy baseball is that the trade reasonably benefits both teams. The player statistics have to be carefully reviewed to make sure that the trade works. Of course, this is similar to the basic idea of creating win-win situations in business. One point that becomes clearer in fantasy baseball is the analysis stage. To apply the win-win scenario effectively (which does create long term allies and networking associates), you have to look clearly at the numbers involved and be prepared to mathematically show both balance and benefit for both parties.

Negotiation Nation

In order to make an effective trade in fantasy baseball, you have to exert your negotiation skills to work with your competitor. Overall, both of you are negotiating to better the game for yourselves, while making reasonable judgments and juggling risk factors. When leading a team within a company, the idea of “bettering the game” can be a great tool in motivating your employees while reminding them of the bottom line. You can push your employees for the constant ideal of improvement while practically responding to the obstacles of everyday life.

Final Fantasy

Fantasy BaseballDespite the friendly quarrels and unsportsmanlike conduct that happens along the way, all fantasy baseball participants share at least one thing in common – improved negotiation skills.  Their  conflict resolution styles may differ, but their ability to communicate and negotiate more effectively can be attributed to their passion for player trades and a winning team. Whether you play for money or just for fun, with a virtual group of strangers, or your buddies from work – let Fantasy Baseball teach you a lesson, even after the season is over. Pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses because after all, you’ve got to start training for Fantasy Football in the fall.

The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance, has provided this article. The University of Notre Dame offers higher education opportunities through a variety of online executive certificates, including leadership and management, and negotiations. To find out additional information about the courses offered please visit

What are your thoughts on fantasy baseball and how we can translate these skills into the workplace? Leave your comments below or tweet us!


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