GM skills translating to non-gaming activities



Years ago I ran into the “you complain about it, you do it” situation at work. In this particular case is was about running a meeting.

Surprising myself and others, I was really good at it. After thinking about it, it was because being the GM of a game is running a meeting.

So if you review Roberts Rules of Order and understand your role as chair of the meeting, you as an experienced GM can facilitate a good smooth meeting, that does not bog down, or waste too many people’s time.

The Secretary of the meeting may be setting the agenda, you as the chair manage the meeting.

  1. Keep things moving.
  2. Keep everyone involved.
  3. Know when to bench discussions.

As a GM we kind of know the concepts of turns and actions. So typically if it is an ongoing status meeting type thing that you have 5 to 20 people attending, follow these concepts and you will be strong.

  1. Start with Old Business. (explain the last meeting, and major choices had) then go around the table asking for updates on things they said or where tasked with doing for this meeting. give them 2 or 3 minutes max for this, think of this as their turn. If you are Bored with it, so are most of the other people at the meeting. when they finish go to the next person.
    At the end of a section of the meeting, and before then next section, clarify that there is nothing anyone needs to add. If it is Verbose or starts getting in depth and people are loosing interest, ask that it be submitted in writing and it will be added to meeting notes for all to see and access.

  2. With New business, go around to everyone on the table and get their elevator pitch for what they are working on…again treat as a player action, if too long, cut them off and explain it and give a different option to share the information. Make sure everyone gets a chance to talk.

  3. When a discussion is necessary, give the different parties time to present their opinions/ concepts and then let them begin their discussion with you calling on people for their opinions and questions, but if any one or two people are the only ones talking for 2 or 3 minutes and it is not a presentation, move the discussion on and if the 2 or 3 participants want to go in depth, they can meet up about it on their own schedule.

As GMs we recognise when someone is doing too much in one turn. It’s the same in a meeting, but we should be more polite.

In a standard Meeting type the “Chairman” or “President” runs the meeting and the “Secretary” does the prep and takes notes. As GMs we have done both for as long as we have been GMs…Learn the rules in your organization and unleash your mad skills…but avoid becoming the default Meeting person in your group!!! I don’t know how to do that yet!!! As that is what I have become since all my meetings are nice and short.

What other skills have you brought to your Non-Gaming life?


I’m super interested in this. I’m thinking of trying to run after school games for 12-16 yr olds as a small side gig. I’ve read it can help you practice social roles or aspects of being you don’t normally get to (eg. Shy girl can be the loud barbarian). Helps empathy, obviously co-operation and compromise. Furthermore the value of an adult mentor figure in your life who isn’t a teacher or relative.

For me personally… yes in general improving on give and take in conversations and interactions in general. Also constantly seeing my planned adventure go totally different to how I expected and seeing how much of my notes were totally unnecessary, has certainly taught me the limits of over planning and reinforced the need to trust my self to improvise/feel it out.



That sounds fabulous…with rewards for sounding like their characters is easy with kids. Give them rewards ( re-rolls or hero coins!) but limit the number 1 person can have, until everyone is maxed out.

This might be cruel, so do it in a very measured way. Since it is using peer pressure to encourage role playing. But I am a proponent of peer pressure to be your best self.

So I think this would work in 1 hero coin max per person until everyone earned one, then 2 becomes max until all are maxed out and it is 3.

This is super simplistic when talking teen age phycology. But rewarding one who hamms it up and used the hero coin as soon as that person gets it knowing they will get another…is not what you are encouraging, it’s getting some out of their shell, and others to learn teamwork, and getting others to make friends outside their own circle.

This is one of those you need to micromanage but can be incredibly rewarding!!!


GM Skills used outside of tabletops

Scheduling + Prepping Events/Partys -> Keeping track of people and making sure people are able to come, working with everyone to make sure all are willing to come are also able.

Understanding Logistics of Social Economy -> In group settings stepping in to make sure all parties are having their voices and opinions heard. Seeing when someone is displeased with the group consensus and finding ways to bring them back to the table positively

Seeing the Bigger Picture -> Maximizing effectiveness of certain monsters in combat translates to problem solving skills, similar to action economy

As a player skills used outside of tabletop

Thinking of interesting ways to solve problems, trying new things or something you’re not good at to get an interesting solution.

Understanding being part of the team means sharing the spotlight, bask in your own glory but also regale in your fellow players, playing as a team and supporting your fellow characters !

probably add some more as they come to mind :slight_smile: Add these sorts of things to your resume to stand out!