Following is a guest post from Rich Largman. Rich is someone I have collaborated with for 15 years in working with clients. He is also my personal coach and one of my dearest friends. It is my pleasure to share his insight and writing with you here. This topic is so perfect as a first post for him here because he brings the energy of curiosity and play to everything he does, especially his work. His presence is a gift in every dimension of my life.
We’ve all heard the familiar scoldings growing up such as…
…Quit fooling around.
…Will you please grow up.
…When will you stop acting like a child?
Well if it were up to me, the answer to that last question would be NEVER!
In an effort to eliminate the childish qualities from our behavior as we race toward adulthood, our child-like qualities often become part of the collateral damage. And that is too bad. By losing our child-like qualities, we lose an immensely valuable resource – the ability to play.
The value and benefits of play cannot be overstated. Studies have found that fun and play are foundational elements in unleashing a person’s creative powers to think differently. They are a critical ingredient in connecting people, improving relationships, increasing productivity, breaking down communication and personal barriers, and alleviating stress and tension.
Unfortunately, all too often I find that many “grown-ups” shun the idea of having fun and playing, especially at work. It is as if we believe work can’t or shouldn’t be fun . . . otherwise we wouldn’t call it work. Right? You’ve probably heard someone say that at some point in your life.
The only thing that mentality leads to, though, is more drudgery in our workplaces as we slog through the day.
“Seven days without laughter makes one weak.” Mort Walke
But what if we worked differently?
What if we changed our mentality and approach to work and brought more play into our workplace?
What if we addressed “serious” work-related issues by playing games?
That is something I have been doing with my clients for many years now, and if their success is any measure, I would say that playing games actually provides them with a competitive advantage as it unleashes all of the benefits listed above and improves the performance of the employees and the company as a whole.
Of course, these aren’t just any games. It’s not like we break out into a game of freeze tag in the middle of a meeting . . . not that I don’t think corporate America could benefit from a good game of freeze tag.
Rather, these games are customized, non-electronic, experiential games that are designed to further a company’s goals and facilitate the important conversations necessary to advance progress.
And I believe play has a cumulative effect on people and companies.
“The more you play, the more creative, productive, connected and stress-free you become.” Rich Largman – tweet this
So that leaves just one question…
Are you playing enough as an adult in your workplace?
Rich Largman is a speaker, writer and business accelerator who partners with entrepreneurs, business owners and leadership teams who wish to take their success to the next level but are stuck in the inertia of their current business practices and beliefs. For the past 15 years Rich has helped companies achieve breakthrough results and success in industries as varied as food, automotive, insurance, construction, technology, education , medical, real estate and more. You can find him online at his blog Empire of Hope.