This little leadership nugget was taken from Greg Thomas of weLead and I think it is very applicable to you that are in any type of leadership in 2010. Whether it is church related leadership or business the below tip will be beneficial to you.
American General and former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell has offered this advice, “Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it: Spend time with your families.
Here are some valid reasons why playfulness is important in the workplace…
1. Playfulness is a natural human expression. Laughter is a quality that makes us uniquely human and individual. It is unnatural to be in an environment where the expression of joy is forbidden or discouraged. Anyone who works in an unnatural environment become anxious and stressed over a period of just a few hours.
2. Humor helps to reduce stress and tension. Making a timely humorous remark is a well known technique in high-tension situations! It can be used to “break the ice” and reduce conflict among a group of people. Skillful negotiators use this technique to overcome tension because it is effective and produces results.
3. Laughter has scientific health benefits. Studies of human physiology show that laughter releases powerful endorphins into the blood stream. This natural chemical is reputedly 10 times more powerful that morphine, a commonly used pain-relieving drug! This has a stimulating and invigorating effect on the body similar to physical exercise. Laughter is also shown to replenish our cells because of increased oxygen intake. It has been shown to boost our immunity against disease and reduces stress!
4. Leaders can use laughter and playfulness as a way to bond with others and show they are human… with a warm personality. Humor reveals a side of our persona that most folks don’t typically see. Being playful in a balanced way lets others know we care for them and are relaxed enough around them to show the emotion of joy and laughter. It helps to level the playing field and promotes open communication.
5. A playful and humorous environment stimulates creativity. Most organizations today lack a creative and innovative spirit within their workplace culture. A corporation that encourages a healthy appreciation for humor stimulates a creative environment and makes employees more adaptable to change. This is also the kind of culture that allows for others to take balanced risks to solve problems.
The truth is that it is both unnatural and unhealthy for playfulness and humor to be discouraged in the modern stress-filled world! Henry Kissinger once said, “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full”.