It’s long been recognized that games have a myriad of positive physical, emotional and social benefits. One of the major social benefits is the teambuilding effects which can be derived among groups playing games.
Use these five approaches to games as ways to reinforce social bonding among your team members.
Organize competitions among group members
This is an especially useful tactic in groups involving young children or groups which have recently welcomed a new member. Persons get to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat within the safety of the group.
Within that safe setting, they also come to discover strengths and weaknesses in themselves and in other members of the group. By mixing the groups and using a variety of games, persons can hone their skills while learning from others and teaching them, as well.
Enter competitions as a team
This produces strong bond-building results even when everyone isn’t part of the competing team. For instance, coworkers with a common interest in playing football can find a football league and participate in competitions. Other coworkers can then become their cheering section, encouraging them to try their best.
That spirit of supporting each other’s efforts spills over into the workplace and becomes second nature. No one is allowed to struggle alone, since someone is also there to urge you on.
Games in which team members act in a coordinated manner cement the idea that each member is an integral part of a working whole. This effect is achieved by synchronizing physical movements, voices, mental processes, etc. – as long as the group acts as one.
In terms of competitive sports, research shows that while synchronized activities positively impact the team’s social interactions, the effect actually works both ways. The opportunity for social interaction among team members enhances each individual’s skills in the sport played and boosts the team’s desire to win.
Make technology a part of the team
Video games and online games can be used as a way to build camaraderie among the team, whether they are family members, co-workers or friends. Persons can go head-to-head, try to beat each other’s high scores, or team up to take on other players.
The fact that almost everyone is used to connecting and sharing electronically, means you can involve technology even more. Group members can use the various social media platforms to share scores and achievements in the games they play together.
Switch things up
Lastly, while it is always good to have a routine to follow, try doing things differently every once in a while. For instance, give different persons the opportunity to plan game activities and be the one in charge.
Or, if your group usually plays in particular location, take the game somewhere else, every now and then. Taking your regular basketball game out of the community center and onto the beach is one idea everyone might enjoy.
Of course, there are many other ways to put sports and games to work building positive relationships among your team. Use the ones we’ve shared here as a catalyst for strengthening social bonds in your group. Go, team!