Games for transformation
In training both as a participant and instructor games have proven to be a fantastic means for transformation. It has always fascinated me that the training environment often brings out masked or model behaviour, but when you add in a game the shaping falls away and true attitudes come out. It seems like play brings out not only the inner child but also that childlike honesty.
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How you do one thing is how you do everything
We all have habits that no matter what we do will show up in a variety of situations. When I first took a course in Business Coaching, we played volleyball every morning and whilst originally it seemed like a bit of fun. Once we started dissecting our reactions in the game and reflecting on where else they showed up, it became very uncanny to see how the same behaviours show up in business and life. From that point onwards, I have often reflected this to myself and groups: How you do one thing is how you do everything!
Especially in change management situations with teams, games can be a very powerful tool. I took teams that were experiencing a lot of conflict and communication breakdowns into game play environments, which totally mimicked every day in the office including the temper flares. When we then held up the behavioural mirrors, people could reflect on their actions and also come to real change decisions, because they gained awareness on how they were also responsible for their role in the conflict. I would then suggest going into another game with the new resolutions for behaving differently and create new outcomes.
One organisation I would recommend working with is Yellow Foot, who are experienced at running game based learning sessions and they have a great team of facilitators, who can help you address even thorny team issues.
Apart from the reflection aspect, games even played on your own can help you enhance a new behaviour. In one of my earlier posts I commented on how a game of Candy Crush Saga changed my opinion on success and failure. It helped me realise I was giving myself an unnecessary hard time. It was just a matter of trying again and reaching new levels.
Have fun playing your game!