Day in and day out we face stressful situations. They meet us at every corner of our life. We can face to face and with stress in life's low valleys as well as on the mountaintops where we experience life's real joys. The good and the bad both come with there own patterns of stress.
Meeting groups of people can be particularly problematic. Everybody, no matter how experienced they may be, will feel a degree of stress when faced with a group situation.
Bear in mind that if you are feeling under stress then everyone else in the group is feeling in much the same way. However, if you've been called to lead that group then the stress on you is going to be that much greater. You will be concerned about how others perceive you, about whether you will be accepted or not and you will be thinking about the task that the group must face as well. Never lose sight of the big picture, the reason for the existence of the group.
The group will operate and perform their task much better if they are feeling comfortable with the group. The group dynamics can be influenced by the degree of interaction of the members of the group. If you are the leader then it's your responsibility to get the group performing.
You will find the task much easier and less stressful if you are adequately prepared. One way you can prepare is to have a bank of stress relief games for groups at hand, or at least have an idea of how these stress relief games for groups work.
You'll find that these games will help to break down the natural barriers that exist as groups begin to form and develop.
Stress Relief Games for Groups #1: If I Were A...
These stress relief games is extremely good at getting people out of their shells and begin communicating. Good communication assists with group performance and without it the group would never achieve its stated aims.
Its best to have the group stand or sit in a circle, this will create a sense of the belonging. The leader starts by turning to the person on his right and ask the question "if you work and animal what animal which you be?" That person will answer the question and turn to the person on his right and ask a similar question, such as if you were a famous writer who would you be? The game that continues and everyone has a chance to ask a question and give an answer. Just remember that nobody is allowed to repeat a category.
Stress Relief Games for Groups #2: Who Likes What?
In this game everybody has a pencil and a piece of paper on which to list five categories. Basically the categories can be about anything such as "composers", "actors" or any other category like a fancy.
Now everybody is simply lists their favorite item in each part of the category.
Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Then list five categories such as "foods" or "musicians." Everyone should list his or her favorite thing in each category. All the slips of paper should then be given back to you (the leader). As you read each list aloud, the other members of the group try to guess whose list you are reading.
Stress Relief Games for Groups #3: Liar, Liar
Here we have each person in the group making three or four comments about themselves. Some of the comments should be true and some should be false, its up to the rest of the group to decide which are true and which are false.
Stress Relief Games for Groups #4: Gossip
This one's especially great for groups that have to go on to develop a serious sense of communication but you do need at least 10 people for it to be most effective. The maximum for this game is 20. so bear these details in mind if you plan to use it.
The idea is that the leader begins by whispering a long sentence to the person on his right. That person passes the message onto the person to her right and so the message goes around the group.
Its amazing how the message will turn out as it gets passed on. This game will demonstrate just how informal communication gets changed form its original idea into something that never happened. It'll stress the need to write down important notes as the need arises. We cannot always rely on word of mouth alone.
Stress Relief Games for Groups #5: Ethics
This game works well for a small group of adults who know each other who love to discuss/argue issues and don't get offended easily. The leader starts the game by turning to a random group member and presenting an ethical dilemma. For instance, "If you knew someone was going to kill your worst enemy, would you try to warn him?" The person answers the question and explains his or her rationale. Then the group votes on whether or not they believe the person would really act as they said they would. If the majority of participants think the person is lying, he or she is out of the game. If the majority thinks he/she is telling the truth, that person picks another "victim" and poses another ethical dilemma. Last player left is the winner.
About the Author
Peter Wellington writes for www.shrinkstress.com, a website providing a comprehensive archive of free information on simple techniques to rapidly reduce stress in your life.