A game? Really? How does that work?
The importance of play is a trendy topic, with advocates stating that creating fun and social experiences for people facilitates learning, the generation of new ideas and increased follow-through on action and exploration plans.
At OneLifeTools, we have a game. But we don’t always call it that. We often describe our Who You Are Matters! tool as a guided self-discovery experience. Lately, we've been explaining it as a clarification experience, at the intersection of work and life.
When people use this tool, we see and hear about the benefits again and again. With so many applications and places to play, we're bound to encounter some resistance to the word 'game'.
Read on for the two most common reasons why people don't like that word, how we counteract their hesitation, and a handy list of alternatives.
Useful or frivolous?
Most people that walk into a room and see the game boards set up are excited and happy. They pick up the Firekeeper’s stick and start asking questions. Some people love the idea of a game. They think about their past positive experiences with friends and family, the rush of winning, the cooperation and laughter.
Others view the idea of play as a silly, frivolous concept. If it’s "just a game", how do you invite people to try Who You Are Matters! and treat it as a beneficial and useful tool?
Here, we talk about the substantial take-away of the Guidebook and Clarification Statement. We explain that players walk away with this personalized summary, in professional language, that corrals the discoveries they generate during the game.
We also reference the Inspired Action part of the game. People expand on a possibility that they have chosen, and they get feedback and suggestions from their fellow players about taking action - even small steps - towards exploring that possibility.
Competitive or collaborative?
Back in our Who You Are Matters! game room, you’ll notice there are other people that hang back when they see the boards. There can be resistance to play. Some people have had negative experiences: a very competitive sibling that always cheated at games, for example, or a fear of reading aloud in front of groups.
How do you overcome this apprehension and put people at ease?
Here, we let everyone know that this is a guided experience, with positive, structured peer feedback. We often let people know that if they choose not to share, that’s ok and expected, and the value of the game is not diminished if you’re not a Chatty Cathy.
In the first few minutes of play, we highlight that this experience is collaborative, not competitive, and that everyone wins when we come together and share our stories.
It’s also great to point out that the game is structured so that stories and reflections are limited to about 30 seconds. The time flies by and there's no risk of oversharing.
Beyond the game
Through our own game plays and our Community of Practice, we have collected this list of phrases and ideas that you can use to go beyond the game and introduce this tool to diverse groups of clients, students, alumni and employees.
- professional & personal discovery experience
- guided career discovery experience
- clarification experience, at the intersection of work and life
- a 60 minutes (or 2-hour) shortcut to finding meaningful work
- facilitated career discovery experience
- guided intentional conversations
- professional and personal development
- employee development and team building
- self-discovery and self-awareness tools
- career management in the workplace
- concentrated dose of career clarity
- group career discovery with peer feedback
- guided clarification experience leading toward meaningful work
- fun yet structured, social yet guided experience, disguised as a game
- any useful phrase followed by the words 'disguised as a game'