We seriously need to bring more play in to the business world. It changes things for the better, and there is science to back that up. The study of play is relatively new, but it is offering insight in to the affect on aspects of personality that are of interest to the businessperson.
People love to have fun. They want to make room for it in their schedule, and many live with the hope that when they are rich they will have more time for play. The challenge comes when you fall into the rut of being a slave to money. Playfulness can be cast aside and forgotten, and it’s a habit that needs to be developed and allowed to guide the choices made in life. If it is a habit while you are building your wealth, it will continue to be a habit as you begin to accumulate it.
Unequivocally, the research is showing that activities undertaken in childhood years influence how the brain develops physically, as well as the benefits it offers the adult mind later in life. As a result, consultants and psychologists are offering fun filled workshops and training programs geared to corporations and work forces that want to cash in on these benefits.
Of course, it is important to remember to play for the sake of playing. It releases specific types of neurotransmitters in the brain. When you are attached to the outcome of that play and become focused on the benefits, you are not enjoying play for the sake of play. So, although all these different scenarios will benefit the bottom line in the company, it is important to remember that first and foremost they are fun for everyone in the business.
5: Play Can Make Even Dull Chores Bearable
A lot of people who are addicted to fun will seek out work that they believe will be only fun. At some point along the way, they discover that there are aspects of work that are not quite as fun. It is always the way. You end up having to deal with piles of paperwork, accounting, or legal issues. All too often, people like this will give up on the work and seek out something else that provides them with fun until that too fizzles out.
Rather than running away from these responsibilities and ditching the business, look to see how you can bring play in to the very scenarios that you find most laborious. How can you make those laborious tasks novel and more playful? Sometimes it could be as simple as playing some music you love while you do it. Other times it may call for a makeover of the decor of the office.
Bright colors literally brighten up your day – just ask any color therapist. Most of the people reading this site are probably up for having some good fun in life, so creative ways to inject fun and play in to the daily routine keep things interesting.
4: Enhances Out Of The Box Thinking
Many adults misuse and abuse the faculty of imagination, using it to worry endlessly about what might go wrong. It becomes a habit, and as with any bad habit, we need to consciously make the effort to replace it with a good one.
Everything innovative in business came from imagination, so training your imagination to focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want, is a good thing to do. We can learn a little from children. Role playing games can be useful for helping us to develop our imagination, to contend with possible future scenarios bef0re they ever happen. Role-playing in business training is often scripted so that an employee is well versed in sales techniques, which has benefits.
There are, however, benefits to unscripted role playing that doesn’t even deal with a situation specific to your business. Many people join improv troupes to have fun developing their imaginative faculties on the spot. As well as developing the faculty of imagination these can improve brainstorming abilities, listening abilities, decision making, and team development.
3: It Fosters A Sense Of Belonging
Group play with other team members can help foster a sense of belonging and connection with one another. Greater loyalty builds over time, which can diffuse in to work situations as well. Maybe a company wrestling match is in order. Lack of play of the rough and tumble kind in childhood has been linked to poor control of violence in adult life. All those times when you were told off for wrestling with your brother or sister as a child would actually have been benefiting you in ways that have only recently been understood.
Celebratory play has also been demonstrated to benefit group bonding. You only have to witness the power of groups of people at a major sports event to see how we all bond more closely in those times. Next time your business experiences a major victory, celebrate it within the company. Celebrate the individuals who accomplished the feat as well as the actual victory, people love acknowledgement.
Check out the videos that go viral on the internet – flash mobs are always popular. People come together with the common goal of highlighting something about a business or associating it with fun in the people’s mind. Through the process of learning the moves, individuals benefit from another aspect of play.
2: People Who Play Make Great Problem Solvers
Research has shown that those who played a lot with objects in their younger years are better at problem solving in their later years. Children who made model toys or planes, got their hands dirty fixing stuff, and manipulated objects to achieve a purpose have developed brains that are better at problem solving.
Studies suggest that if you did not do much of this in your youth, you may have a bit of a disadvantage as a problem solver as an adult. Thankfully, neuroscientists are realizing that the brain is still quite adaptable, or plastic, in our adult years. This suggests that it is not too late to begin playing with objects to develop those problem-solving abilities.
Einstein solved the problem related to relativity and the speed of light with his creative mind. He imagined himself to be riding along a bean of light watching the world go by. Whatever business you are in, there are ways to play with your problems, to view them from outside of the box. We don’t solve problems by looking at the problem. We solve problems by coming at them with a focus on the solution.
1: Play Empowers Us To Face Uncertainty
There is plenty of uncertainty in the world of business, especially in these times of change. Those who have adapted to uncertainty are the ones who are better able to deal with it and profit from it. The inability to deal with uncertainty immobilizes people with fear.
When people engage in movement as a form of play they develop structures within the brain that foster innovation and flexibility in all they do. Different kinds of physical movement challenge the brain to prepare for the unexpected and cause us to think in motion. Structured forms of movement, such a dance or ballet, can definitely offer benefit. Unstructured play, where the movement to be executed is not known ahead of time, can be very helpful in generating the ability to face uncertainty.
Maybe it is time to start offering a game of dodgeball at your business! Not only that, but when you are regularly moving your body, you gain more body awareness, know your limitations, and get a better idea of what you are capable of.