10 Golden Rules for Making Games Work

1. You are resourceful

You can manage a remarkable amount, have more abilities than you imagine and can instil great learning using the power of games. If you don't believe me, run some more challenging experiences or take your team somewhere that will challenge and push your people. See how much they can do and realise about themselves for the first time. If it is true for them, why not also for you?

2. Be observant

When you observe everything that is going on, you will be able to use more of it for learning, whether that is obvious to everyone or a subtlety that most people miss. Knowing what was said and done (and being able to guess at what was felt based on your observations) will put you in a strong position when it comes to reviewing and sucking the deepest of learning from the experiences.

3. Expect the unexpected

It will happen regardless of the time spent planning and your accumulated years of experience. People are incredibly resourceful and will do whatever it takes and sometimes they will see opportunities where you have not. But because you are also resourceful, you will be able to take the unexpected and use it to your advantage somehow.

4. Enjoy yourself

Just like the participants, if you are having fun then you are in a better place to learn. On top of your own learning though, if you are happy and having fun then that will create a comparable climate for the participants. This will inspire them to also have fun, making them more open to the learning process.

5. Be invisible

After the experience, participants should barely remember your input. You need to be like a great leader who helps people to accomplish things in such a way that they believe they managed this by themselves. If they remember you it suggests that you have been interfering too much or being part of the team. You are not part of the team and at times you will need to let them know this quite clearly as they look to you for advice or instructions. You are merely there to facilitate their process.

6. Be consistent

Unless you want to keep them on edge as a parameter to be dealt with, or you are helping them to experience change, be as consistent as possible in the way you run a succession of games. That way, participants can settle into your style and simply concentrate on what they are dong, rather than being concerned about what you might do next.

7. People will be changed by the experience

There may be occasions when games don't run as well as you expect. Nevertheless, however rubbish you think the game was or simple the lessons were, people can change. If you provide some form of experience and people go through it, they will be different afterwards. They will find out something about themselves, their team-mates, the environment or the task and this will have an effect on them. You might not notice what they get from it and it is unlikely you will see the change unless you work with the group over a longer period. Be confident though that your process and games generally will have an impact.

8. There is no substitute for practice

Reading a book will not make you a games guru, able to achieve the most amazing learning from the simplest of games. You will eventually but it might be hit or miss to start with - sometimes there will be more learning and at other times not as much as you had hoped. With practice, the amount the participants gain will increase. This practice doesn't always need to be with an audience. When you play your games with anyone, you will learn something about how these games work, what to do, what to avoid etc. This will raise you to a new level.

9. Planning enhances the learning

Games that flow smoothly because you have covered all the bases will allow people to get the most learning from the experience. If you are constantly having to deal with items that you didn't plan for, it will distract you. You need to be able to relax and watch what is happening in order to use it to your participants' advantage. A plan will also provide you with the freedom to improvise because you always have somewhere to come back to when you need to. Even though you are resourceful you will accomplish more with a plan.

10. Push people harder

Your participants will accomplish a surprising amount so expect more from them. Push them to their limits in whatever way you can so that they surprise themselves and learn about what is possible. It is in this zone where they are being stretched that they are more likely to be themselves - any masks have to come down because they can't be sustained under that kind of pressure. You might think that you are being gratuitously nasty but it is ultimately for their benefit.

Article Source: Nick James Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment