Ineffective meetings, the ones you could have received as an email or that last an hour longer than they should, are the stealers of job satisfaction. They are are proven to decrease or undermine communication and collaboration – the two attributes of meetings that managers often defend as a “necessary evil.” One way to combat negative feelings about meetings is to gamify them. Adding thoughtfully planned games can improve the flow of a meeting, give every person involved a voice, and help with the brain health of all meeting attendees.
Traditionally, games have been reserved for team-building and icebreakers. While they can still be productive for those things, the mention of them can be cringe-worthy to some. However, introducing a well-structured game as a tool to identify, monitor or debrief many topics can reinvigorate your time spent in meetings. Games work because they have rules. When meetings have games, the meeting inherits the rules of the game. This can result in blurring the lines of hierarchy and give more people a voice within the meeting. When the rules are clearly defined, it can change the energy of the meeting and allow people to look at problems or goal setting from a different point of view.
So how do they work? Atomic Object suggests, among other things, that it keeps structure by being timed, having clearly defined rules, and will demand participation from all participants. Games allow their teams to work creatively and effectively. They have even been able to select games that build on one another so that they can both identify and troubleshoot problems that they are attempting to solve.
Games can also be effective in helping support brain health. When used as a transition from mental to physical or from analytical to reflective, games can facilitate the brain’s ability to switch function. It can give time that is necessary to process topics that have already been discussed and allow for creativity in developing solutions. It can also allow time for the brain to reset and full process new ideas that have been presented prior to playing.
The process of adding games may take a little effort to get started, but will take the dread out of the boardroom meeting.
Now, LETS MEET, game on!