Why I love Games

A buzz word being thrown around currently is “Win-Win”. So often, at least for our most popular activities like football, basketball, and soccer we think of games as being a Win-Lose proposition. When we are trying to build a team, can a game be a Win-Win situation? Yes, it can!

There are two main elements, of a game (and one usually not thought of): A Goal and Rules. Most people just think of a game as “Beating the other team” but using our definition, we see that we can make a game out of anything. This third element, though not hidden, it is often forgotten. The ability to create is one of humankind’s greatest abilities and also one of our greatest duties. Is it possible to create a game to help build your team? 

There are people who study Group Dynamics and create team meeting activities for small groups. What is your team doing to become better? Here are 7 categories to work on: 

  • Curiosity Teach each other to ask questions. Remember the sixties slogan, “Question Authority”? 
  • Awareness Be aware of how certain activities make you feel. Often things like Butterflies in your stomach actually mean something deeper than being nervous. 
  • Authenticity When things get tough, can you acknowledge how you usually react and more importantly can you use that moment of truth to determine what is really the most effective response? 
  • Accountability Do you really try to make sure all the things you are responsible for actually happen? If you aren’t the best, at a particular aspect of your job, do you ask for help or just let it slide? 
  • Candor Tell each other honestly and with compassion, non-judgementally the truth and things will change. 
  • Genius Who really is the best, at a particular skill or subject, on your team? Do you empower them to use that talent? 
  • Appreciation We don’t only have to appreciate the salesperson who won the million dollar contract, what about the secretary who always puts the stamp on your envelopes without you even having to remember to ask? 

Sure, you can try to do “Office Olympics” like the crew on that famous or is it infamous TV show from a few years back but there are whole companies dedicated to creating situations and more importantly locations that enhance the team building experience. An important aspect provided by game builders, with experience, is the ability to match specific games with your groups abilities and needs. Sometimes we let our excitement, for a certain activity cloud our reasoning in determining what will be accomplished by playing the game. This can happen with our work tasks also. Something to observe is whether an activity culminates with everyone together or with everyone but the winner and runner up sitting on the sidelines, possibly getting bored, till the end of the game. Is there something you could change, in your company’s office routine to draw everyone together naturally?