Play to work together better.

Ok here’s the problem as I’m sure many of my fellow bloggers know: You need to blog regularly to generate business, but when you have lots of business, you don’t have time to blog regularly. Oh well….

Today I found support for my constant ranting about how play can build teamwork and lead to success in the team’s endeavors. Reading the Topeka Capitol Journal’s Sports Page I ran across this story. It seems that  Kansas City Chief’s Coach Tod Healy has discovered what my clients already know. Playing together strengthens teamwork and a sense of community.

Last week, employees at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and the Wyandotte County Health Department all built stronger teams by playing under laugh2learn’s guidance. Monday, the Sedgwick County Health Department followed suit. Next week the conferees at InterHab’s Power Up Conference will learn how they too can benefit. I hope I can find time to post to my blog.

Play! Play! and More Play!

Today was a red-letter day for me. Weighed in on the Wii Fit Plus at 233! This is the fittest I have been since I can’t remember when. My secret? Well of course it means eating less, but for me that has simply been smaller helpings, healthy snacks and avoiding sugared drinks. But the key is exercise, and the key to exercise, for me at least, is play! Tell me to jog in place for 10 minutes. After 3, I’m done. But put me on an imaginary bicycle and send me around an imaginary island looking for flags, and I’m in! Tell me to exercise my upper body for three minutes and I’m not going to do it, but put me on my Wii for Bird’s Eye Bull’s Eye, and I’ll do it over and over.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not an advertisement for Wii. It just happens that Wii is my exercise of choice, given my situation. In the past, I have lost weight playing racquet ball and other games. The point is, play makes it easier to do what you need to do. Exercise as fun is much more productive than exercise as a chore. (I realize this is not true for everyone. I know several people who do exercise for the sake of exercise, and I think that is great. It’s just that for me play makes it easier.)

Not long ago, I discussed Matt Weinstein’s book, Work Like Your Dog. In the book, Matt makes the point that dogs don’t distinguish work from play and suggests ways to make your work fun.

Then sometimes, play is just play. Last Saturday my son and daughter-in-law hosted their annual “Sci-Fi-Fish-Fry,” where they invited their friends to come and celebrate science fiction. Many, including most of the children came in costume.

Of course at Laugh2Learn, we believe that play is an important component of learning. But whatever its purpose, everyone needs to play!

PLAY

George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” As I do improv based training, I am constantly amazed at how eager adults are to play games. Even the most up tight executive seems to welcome the opportunity to engage in a few moments of frivolity. Of course at Laugh2Learn we combine playing with learning so we get added value from our play.

Here is a game you can play at work almost any time. It doesn’t require any tools and only takes a few minutes. In addition to just being fun, it will help you apply the “yes… and” principle and develop good relationships with coworkers. It’s called “Dr. Know It All,” and involves at least three players. The rules are quite simple. Some one asks a question and then speaking one word at a time, three people answer it. The first person says the first word of the answer the second the second the third the third and the first the fourth, and so on.

Here is a brief demonstration: