Benefits of Team Building Games: Rules and Sportsmanship

Two more key benefits of games as team building devices:  Rules and Sportsmanship.

Games have rules

As in the work place, games have rules and structure. In order for the game to proceed, we all must agree to abide by those rules. Otherwise the game devolves into chaos. That reinforces the value of structure and process in the workplace.

But the game won’t proceed if all we do is read the rules. People have to participate, provide their input and energy, and commit to the outcome. Thus, equally valuable, games and their rules also demonstrate the limits of rules, process, and structure, and the need for cooperation, communication, and teamwork in order to get things done.

Games build sportsmanship

A terrific feature of games is that they’re “just a game.” While we can get very excited and invested in the outcome while the game is going on, deep down we know that the outcome of the game isn’t the point. Participants help each other retain sight of this, calming down team members who get too excited about winning, and helping along the shyer members who enter a competition less confident than others. During a game, team members - and even opponents - will encourage each other to do better.
We often hear participants say things like “Give Robbie a chance,” or “Wow, Chris, you’re really catching on to these scavenger hunt clues!”

This diplomatic consideration of others, learned as children during Little League, scouting, or at the school yard at recess, sometimes is forgotten during the hectic pace of our pressure-filled jobs. Games help us remember to take care of each other in times when the stakes are low - good habits to form, so that we’ll remember them when stakes are high again, too.

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