Professional and educational training can be mind-numbingly dull. Any young professional or college student has hours upon hours of power point slides, monotone lectures, and stale articles in their future. Want some good news? You don’t always need to torture yourself with the dull “traditional” learning tactics adopted by schools and businesses all across the United States.
Put away the textbooks, turn off the power point, distract the lecturer, and check out Designing An Educational Game for the Fun of Learning. Just in case, you don’t have a half-hour to dive into the article, here’s what you need to know. Deborah Henderson has found throughout her years of teaching Ohio University’s nursing program that games “can be used to reinforce facts, acquire knowledge and skills, practice problem–solving and decision making, and promote team building.” She goes onto explain that you can either create your own games (board games in this case) or you can utilize already created games. Check out four games that you can utilize to hone your professional skills.
Fine-tuned control of language, tone, and facial expressions are all vital to anyone who wishes to one day obtain a leadership role in any organization. Why? The way information is delivered is more vital than the actual information that must be shared. It can be the difference between irritated and happy co-workers.
Some people naturally have a good ability to not only deliver a rousing speech; they also have a stellar ability to read how individuals are receiving the message. This phenomenon is called emotional intelligence. The rest of us need to work on honing that skill.
Bang!, a western themed bluffing card game, is a great way to work on increasing your EI. The game places players on one of three teams (the police, a renegade, and the outlaws) and pits them against each other. The ability to hone your EI skills is derived from the fact that you must conceal what team you are on while determining based on the other players actions, facial expressions, and words who their allies and enemies are. For the best learning experience, you should study and emulate the tactics of individuals who excel.
Co-operative board games, as some board gamers know, have slowly been increasing in popularity. These board games can be utilized to help teams or individuals increase their ability to think and act like a team player.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game places players in charge of their own super hero teams. The players teams must all work together to defeat the evil mastermind three times, capture the minor villains before they escape with bystanders, and overcome the evil mastermind’s evil plot.
Team work is imperative and more complicated than it appears. The team member must determine if the characters they can recruit will do better on their own team or another player’s team. They must also be able to determine if other players can face-off against a minor villain before he or she escapes if they choose not to. Due to the consequences of individual players making the wrong choices, the ability to work effectively as a group is imperative to win. If you’d like to hone, you’re team work skills play a few games of Legendary.
Not Getting Lost in the Team
Effective team work doesn’t mean you should shed all of your long and short-term personal and professional goals. Team players should strive to pursue their own goals while helping their company, team, and co-workers. Losing sight of who you are and what you want can be just as disastrous in the long-term as failing to be a team player at all.
Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game can serve as a training ground for individuals struggling with how to effectively navigate that complicated line. Players are plopped down in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. They must utilize their characters to dodge zombie attacks, collect food for the survivors, and keep the settlement from becoming a depressing dump. Players must not only work together to survive together, but they are also given individual win conditions that must be met in order to win.
Players will be given the opportunity to attempt to balance taking self-serving actions and team oriented actions. They will begin to acquire a sense of when the team cannot afford players to run off to pursue their own goals.
The inability to handle stress can negatively affect your career prospects. High stress often leads to inefficient work, makes finding solutions to problems difficult, the desire to call in sick and minor mistakes that could lead to accidents and injuries. Due to the nature of life and work, you may never be able to escape work entirely, but individuals can develop skills to handle stress more effectively.
Individuals can learn how to work through stress by picking up a board game that has a traitor element. In Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game players are a one of a dozen survivors who are desperately attempting to flee from their Cylon (robot) enemy. Each player receives loyalty cards that reveal whether they are a human attempting to escape or a Cylon attempting to destroy the human fleet.
The not knowing who is who is stressful, but the most stress falls on the Cylon player. They must effectively devise a plan to win while attempting to hide the fact that they’re trying to subtly lead the other players to their destruction. Repeatedly playing the game allows individuals to be flexible, creative, and outwardly calm when they encounter stressful situations at work.
Building career skills doesn’t need to be a boring ordeal. Many of the skills you will need in your professional life, you can learn through acquiring the right skills. The four games I mentioned above are great games to build your emotional intelligence, increase your ability to deal with stress, and to fine tune your ability to effectively work as part of a team. As you begin this journey, you will find that many of your board games teach slightly different skills.
Guest Post by Samantha Stauf
Samantha Stauf spends her days working in marketing, so she spends all of her money on board games. Hopefully one day she’ll have enough time to play them all.
You can find her on Twitter at @samanthastauf