Games Empower Coworkers to Coach Each Other
Games Empower Coworkers to Coach Each Other

Are you comfortable providing direction to your peers?

According to a recent study, most of us are not—the lack of hierarchy makes it awkward for us to nudge a colleague when they are not following protocols.

This is a big deal. We know people are deeply influenced by the behaviors of others and this study tells us that it’s typically uncomfortable to influence peer behaviors. That means there’s enormous opportunity for unsustainable practices to spread across our organizations.

Envision a scenario where Joe leaves equipment running even though the office policy is to shut off equipment at the end of the day. Bill is unlikely to correct Joe because, well Bill’s not Joe’s boss so, really, it’s none of his business. And besides, Joe brings in home-made muffins sometimes and Bill likes muffins. So the equipment stays on, which ultimately affects Amy and Mike’s behaviors too; they see that others leave the equipment on so they do the same. The office policy is largely irrelevant in the face of increasingly pervasive social norms.

Cool Choices game shakes up this dynamic. Games give people permission to coach other players (especially team mates). Within the context of a game Bill will likely tell Joe to shut off the printer—because leaving it on is killing their team standing. And, instead of withholding muffins, Joe will probably laugh at Mike’s team spirit but he’ll also turn off the equipment. And the interaction might prompt Joe to coach Amy “hey, you’d better shut off the copier; Mike’s determined that we’re winning this game.”

We see this all the time. Playing a game gives people permission to coach, to talk to colleagues about their practices. And, because the conversations are within a game setting, the interactions feel appropriate to all parties. Ultimately Cool Choices inspires people to talk to each other—directly—about sustainable practices within their community. And those conversations lead to amazing results.

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