“How awesome is it that your work facilitates joy?” – Team Bonding Participant
This great privilege to work with amazing teams like yours also comes with great responsibility.
In every interaction we have, every company we work with, every game we play – people are at the center of this experience. The very nature of creating joy, fostering belonging, and crafting connections among people means keeping the way that people move through the world differently at the forefront of our minds.
Because inclusion permeates every aspect of our work from the way our internal structures affect Kingmakers employees to the way that games are taught to you – a quippy title called “3 Ways We Think about Inclusion” doesn’t really cut it. We also know that as a small company of people who can only speak to their own experiences, we have ample room to learn and grow.
Here is one thing we think about in a very long list when it comes to Kingmakers role in team culture development, diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging:
Tips and Tricks
for Team Leaders before We Play
1. Schedule a Team Bonding during the workday.
Investing in time to play and socialize is a part of the work, not separate from the work.
When you schedule during time people already have allotted for work, event itself will be more successful and you will be more likely to meet your engagement goals. We find participants can devote their full attention and are fully present in the experience between standard working hours.
Scheduling team social time outside of the workday excludes or places additional stress on people with other responsibilities, like caretakers. This disproportionately affects women in the workforce at this time.
2. Show up as an “equal” with your team!
No matter your team’s culture, there is a power difference between team leaders and team members.
We purposely structure and facilitate the experience (and keep pieces of the experience a surprise) so that you don’t have to lead the experience. From the space you take up in a Zoom screen to the way you show up with the same amount of information as everyone else – you get to be a part of the team in a Kingmakers Team Bonding!
3. Share thoughtfully and candidly in your Consultation.
We know that every team is different. You have a unique history, interpersonal dynamics, and team members with different identities and lived experiences.
There are many reasons why board games are not experienced the same way depending on learning styles or assumed cultural knowledge. We address this with our Accommodations and Adaptations request, asking both team leaders and participants themselves to share cultural, language, or physical considerations. We do our best to prepare for any unique needs on your team to make gameplay more accessible and fun for everyone.
While our facilitators are skilled in responding in real-time and shifting their facilitation as needed, knowing key team dynamics ahead of time provides insights as we set up the board game experience and facilitation approach.
We recognize that this pre-event exercise would be improved by directly asking Participants – not only the team leader or event organizer – their take on their team’s personality, hierarchy, morale, and familiarity. This is a process we’d like to put attention to in the future.