... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC
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April / May 2011
Could You Find More Play at Work?
What do you think of when you hear the word “play”? Does it evoke images of lazy summer days bobbing in the waves of the ocean? Do you think of hard fought competitive basketball
games after work? Does “play” mean digging through an old chest of clothing and dressing up in creative ways with funky clothes that you would never wear in the outside world?
What emotions does the word “play” bring to mind? Could these words be: fun, silly, laughter, happiness, carefree, creative, winning, sharing, innovative…and much more?
I ask these questions because this week I attended a networking event and the speaker asked those same questions of the audience. As a participant I realized that I had not thought about play in a
long time. Even more interestingly, she asked: “What is the connection between play and your own happiness at work?” How would YOU answer that?
Many individuals that I work with are constantly searching for work-life balance. It occurred to me during this presentation that the idea of play at work is another tool that we could deploy to find that balance. If you are looking for more balance (or fun) in your work life, read on.
As part of her presentation the speaker gave us a definition of play. It was a quote from psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Brown of The National Institute for Play.
“Play refers to a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment…and are seemingly purposeless.”
It is a well-documented fact that groups (families, teams, couples, siblings, spouses, work groups) who play together achieve the following results. As you look at this list, think about what these results would look like at work.
After looking at this list, the question to ask yourself is: “What
play do I currently have in my life and what is preventing me from having more play in my life, especially at work?”
Below is an exercise for you to do to prompt your thinking on this matter:
Step One: list elements of play that figure prominently in your childhood memories.
Step Two: circle the three items that gave you the most happiness/fun/satisfaction from this list.
Step Three: think about how you can translate the circled items into your current work life. Some examples might be:
If you liked to color or draw as a child you might like to uncover your creative talents as an adult in the form of: gardening, decorating, woodworking, painting or creating a design/logo for a project at work or as a volunteer.
If you liked to play competitive team sports as a kid, you might find a local pick up team to play with as an adult. Possibly you could seek to be a member of a team with a sales/business development peer with whom you might develop a business relationship. You could also coach a sports team or volunteer to be a mentor at work. I once worked with a person who was the United Way Campaign Chairperson for his entire company for five consecutive
years. His primary annual goal was to increase contributions year over year and he found the inherent challenge—FUN!
If you liked to be on stage as a child, volunteer to run the next team meeting at work.
If you liked to write creative pieces when you were a child, volunteer to write a newsletter or blog for your home owner’s association, church or business unit.
If you liked to play socially interactive games as a child like tag or hide and go seek, find a socially interactive group to join. Many organizations (both inside and out of your work environment)have special interest groups such as a professional book club, women’s groups or group dedicated to a specific volunteer activity.
It is time to redefine whatever “play” meant for you as a child. The purpose of this discussion is to encourage you think about how to translate that whole “range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment” to your adult life. Suppose that you commit five minutes every morning during your commute to work to decide what “play” you will add to your day. For some this could be
a huge step towards achieving work life balance.
Let’s make our work lives more enjoyable. Congratulations, you are taking the first step towards
deriving results from within
*To review any of these past newsletters, please visit the Newsletter section of www.CoachVickie.com
If you like the tip, let us know but more important, share it with a friend or colleague. As always, YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.