7 facilitator's sins of simulation games

In a previous article, I wrote about simulation games and Kolb's cycle. Now I want to say something about facilitation of those type of meetings and pinpoint mistakes that can occur.

1. Stressful environment

It's quite essential to care about gamers and give them right settings in the first place. A facilitator should answer following questions:

  • does everybody want/need to participate in the game?
  • does everybody feel safe and pleasant?
    By answering questions above facilitator has an opportunity to provide the safe environment for members that are involved.

2. Unclear rules

Every game has its own rules. The facilitator has to introduce regulations to all gamers at the beginning and gain feedback if everybody understands those rules.

3. To vent (give people some space and time)

There are a lot of emotions during a simulation game. Sometimes there are nice and friendly and sometimes are not. You as a facilitator have to give people time and space to tell about their emotions (even if they feel angry and disappointed).

4. Telling own conclusions (work with silence)

After each game, there should be time for thoughts and findings. During this part, the facilitator should listen what people have to say and eventually write it down. It's a hard job to do, but you can't tell own conclusions. People have to work it out by themselves. You can only try to ask the right questions and (what's more important) listen.

5. Fight against group's thoughts (be open)

This point is connected with previous one. You, as a facilitator, can only ask questions and listen. Sometimes participants' conclusions are slide different than planned. You have to be prepared for that and open. Don't try to fight with those conclusions, because at the end all findings are valuable and vital.

6. Lack of reference to real life

At the end of a meeting, the participants have to find some references in the game to real life. These findings provide a new perspective on daily problems and make this game valuable.

To sum up, a facilitator of a simulation game should be prepared for unexpected thoughts and situations, be open and care about people's feelings. And how about you? What facilitator sins have you found?