Preparing for the Next Team Game


Facilitators often run a training game or activity on a regular basis. In this short article Sarah Cook provides useful tips on what to watch out for when preparing to run a game with which you are familiar.

There are often occasions when facilitators decide to use  familiar games or activities as part of a training intervention. You may be running a regular series of  events or know of a game that is particularly relevant to the current learning and development needs that you are addressing.  One of the dangers of this approach is that the facilitator can fall into a 'comfort zone' in two perspectives: the relevance of the game and the preparation required for the next time that it is used.

Just because a game or activity has worked well in another context, does not mean that you should re-use it in another. Before running the activity, do double check that the learning objectives and outcomes meet the current need. Ask yourself whether there are any other games or activities which would serve as a better alternative.  What went well when you last ran the activity? What could have been improved? What are the key learning points for when you next run the game?

Once a familiar game or activity has been packed away, the danger is that the unprepared facilitator picks it off the shelf without double checking the content of the pack. Are all the components present and in presentable order? Do instructions or laminates need refreshing? Have past participants written on or damaged any material? Are the answers kept separate to the delegate pack? What material needs replenishing?

Without proper thought and preparation, facilitators can find that taking short cuts by using familiar material ends up leaving them with inappropriate and  ill-prepared material.

Sarah Cook is Managing Director of the leadership and service excellence consultancy, The Stairway Consultancy.

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