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Emotional Games for Training – review


Title: Emotional Games for Training - 15 games that explore feelings, behaviour and values
Author: Ken Jones.
Publisher: Gower
ISBN: 056608497X
Priced £49.50
Format: 192 pages hardback

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This is a book with 15 different sorts of games that take anything from half an hour to half a day. The author puts the emphasis on the emotions that have been raised whilst playing the game, and an emotional word list is supplied to focus delegates' thoughts into thinking about the words that describe their emotions during the game.

All the games are based upon a fictional planet or company, which the author believes helps strip away all the irrelevancies of the real world. Each game gives the facilitator indicators for actions to take, before during and after the game.

It is a fairly easy book to read and absorb, and the games themselves are interesting and in a format to be easily used in any training programme, delegates would find the games challenging and fun, and they no doubt would learn about group dynamics, leadership and so on.

However, whilst the games themselves could play a theoretical part within an overall training event, I feel that the exploration of emotions is potentially dangerous. I wonder at the relevance of assessing both your own and others' reactions to a game that has just been acted out, in comparison to real life work situations - I think it is hard to simulate the emotions you feel when you are about to attend an interview for a new job. In addition to this when I put a case forward to my MD for something I feel we as a business need to do, I don't believe I need to understand her emotions or my emotions for that matter. What I need to do is put a commercially sound business case forward. This is based on benefits versus costs.

To make best use of the games, as I believe is intended, they should only be used by very experienced trainers who are sure and confident of the delegates attending the course and their reception to this kind of analysis.

Overall I would recommend this book to the experienced trainer who wants to add more theoretical games and simulations to their training repertoire.

Rue Shute
HR Manager


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