From Impossibility to success: Learning how to push your boundaries through games
Let’s face it, the games and activities that you would go through when you participate in a BlueSky training program are not easy. Most of these games are designed to help you realize a pattern, strengthen a behavior and help you evolve as an individual. Being on the sidelines gives us a wonderful opportunity to observe and evaluate the behaviors and see how individuals interact in teams.
One thing that’s common, when it comes to some of the more challenging activities that we engage the participants in, is how participants usually start off with the feeling that it’s impossible to do when the activity or the game is explained to them first. But as they progress to completing the activity the environment completely changes from dilemma to the sheer euphoria that they experience when they complete the activity successfully. This shift made me wonder, what makes them disbelieve, what is the approach they take and how do they achieve success? These shifts certainly have huge implications in personal and professional lives. Few insights into these behavioral shifts:
- We don’t believe we can do it when we’re in our comfort zone
It’s not a natural behavior for us to step outside our comfort zones. We are conditioned in such a way that we are wary of taking decisions that will put us in an uncomfortable position. But at the same time, it is imperative that we expand our capabilities and learn new things regularly to stay competitive in this dynamic world. The games are designed to do just that. We are usually in our elements when we are in our comfort zones and these activities pushes us to face the unknown. When we start embracing the change and think beyond, we are usually able to get to success easier.
- Teamwork is the Key (Not pooling resources but pooling abilities)
While it’s cliched to talk about teamwork and its importance, it’s unavoidable in this aspect. Having a team around us that says ‘Let’s do it! , We will get it done!’ is the ultimate motivator. A team is of great significance since everyone brings in their uniqueness in terms of skills and abilities. While some may be creative, some may be more adept with operational tasks. While one may not function well under pressure, there will be a teammate who thrives under pressure. It is this beautiful balance within the teams that helps the group move from confusions to clarity and thus discussing doubts to achieving goals.
- Know the unknown- Asking questions isn’t bad
One behavior that really helps when we face any challenge that seems impossible to achieve is how we acknowledge our lack of knowledge and embrace the vulnerability. Given that such activities are safe spaces that gives the opportunity to experiment and explore, it’s the ideal setting that one can never get in a professional work environment. When the teams start to challenge the status-quo and start asking questions amongst each other and against the constraints given in an activity, they move closer to success!
- Belief comes from doing
It’s often said that belief changes the way you think about a difficult challenge. But the belief only gets us this far. It’s more important to Act. Often, the situations in life demands incremental progress and not a revolutionary change. Starting with small tasks, achieving small victories, and making progress one step at a time is often the key to success. For example, when a change management project is undertaken, it’s imperative that small victories are achieved and celebrated to show the way and further strengthen the belief. It’s by doing that we keep moving and learning.
- Breaking it down is the way to go
As they say, breaking down a big task into smaller manageable tasks helps. This is exactly the way the most successful teams usually approach any challenging task they take up. The segmentation makes the mammoth and seemingly impossible task simple to work upon. These different segments can be executed efficiently by proper delegation of these tasks. Thinking with a clear head, pooling all ideas and proper planning helps. Executing with excellence each small segment of the big task is the way to achieve success at even the most difficult challenge at hand.
- Be comfortable with ambiguity
There are always going to be things that we don’t know. The hallmark of a winning team is usually how comfortable they are with ambiguity. It’s important to have a solid plan but what’s equally important is thinking on the feet, preparing for eventualities and having the presence of mind to modify the plans according to the environment that presents itself.
Games and activities that are well thought out really give everyone a chance to experience some real-life situations in a safe space. We like to call it labs. Its where you can fail without consequences and where failures give you a lot of learnings. These small incremental changes eventually lead up to success. While we are speaking in the context of an activity or game, we see that the same points are equally applicable for any situation that arises in the professional or personal life. Going from impossibility to success is a journey which is again an integration of critical factors. Success is not a chance outcome. It’s a planned conclusion.