Some people are very skeptical about the value of participating in team building games. Others may say “I don’t like to play games.” But they are missing the point. Participating in these types of activities have real purpose; it is not a matter of trying to entertain people with things they may or may not like to do. Here is a short list of the benefits of playing games…
- Games force social interaction and communication among people who need to interact and communicate at work. Not everyone is good or comfortable in social situations. Games will give people the practice they need in a fun, lighthearted situation.
- When people play together, they get to know each other on a more personal level. You get to find out what your team members are good at, and how they react to various challenges. This starts the process of building trust; people start to feel more at ease with each other.
- Laughter is an important bonding tool. When people laugh together, they boost camaraderie. The shared experience of playing together strengthens the bonds amongst team members.
- Good team building games do not put individuals on the spot. The emphasis is on team performance, not individual performance… and that type of practice is very valuable.
- Games help people take “risks” in a non-threatening situation. They don’t know what the game is about to begin with, but when they commit to participating with a team, they are indeed taking a small risk. Team performance and improvement does not happen without risk. For people who don’t like change (and there are lots of them), this is good practice!
- Games, for the most part, are competitions; there will be “winners.” There is nothing wrong with this. Those people who think “everyone should win”—are missing the point. In real life, business is a competition. How people perform in competition and what they can learn from it is important.
- Games can be “business simulations.” There is a challenge; the team needs to communicate with each other and figure it out; they must succeed within a certain time frame (deadline); they must decide what their resources are and how to utilize them effectively. These are all things that are required to be successful at work. It gives people the opportunity to practice—in a more entertaining way –where whatever they do will not put them out of business.