I describe all of our Learning & Development as fun (as well as practical and interactive). And whilst I’ve always subscribed to this as being an absolutely critical part of our learning philosophy, I have always had a little niggle that by promoting our products as “fun”, we might not be taken seriously, or that perhaps we lack credibility.
This is of course is not true. Tandem take things very seriously and have all the credentials and experience to lead and facilitate serious work. But by having fun with it, we’re enhancing the learning experience and helping others to lead happier lives. We believe that work can, and should be, enjoyable and we aim to promote this.
When it comes to learning, I believe it has to be enjoyable for the learning to stick and for participants to feel motivated to apply the learning back on the job. I know this intuitively. But it’s not until now that I have the evidence….(or a well researched point of view) that supports this. And I love it that it’s beautifully illustrated as a Venn diagram!
(If any of you have been on any of my workshops, you will have heard me bang on about how amazing and life changing her book How To Break Up With Your Phone is)
Her perfect Venn diagram articulates what I’ve been attempting to say for the last 20 years – by describing True Fun as the confluence of Playfulness, Connection & Flow.
She describes Playfulness as a spirit of light-heartedness and freedom. When we’re being playful, we’re carefree, we smile frequently and laugh easily. And there is no obligation. When we’re being truly playful, we don’t mind if there’s no tangible reward.
Connection is about sharing this experience with someone else. When people describe True Fun, they report feeling like they’re joining together with someone while at the same time being totally themselves. (This applies to Introverts and Extroverts).
And Flow: Positive Psychologist, Mihaly Cziksentmihalyi’s concept isabout being fully engrossed and engaged in your present experience to the point that you lose track of time. Distractions, self-consciousness and judgement stop us from being present; so they disrupt Flow.
Playfulness, Connection and Flow can each independently lead us to positive emotions, but it’s when we experience the three simultaneously, we experience True Fun. Some of the benefits when we experience all three include:
- Feeling engaged and focused
- Generation of energy – that electric feeling!
- Feeling in touch with our authentic selves
She goes on to describe her research, methodologies and outputs in engaging detail, but as an introduction to the topic, these read like the prefect criteria for a Learning Experience and have really helped me to articulate why at Tandem we run things the way that we do.
We want our participants to engage in True Fun, in order for them to have the best possible, memorable Learning Experience
But there’s some good lessons for life here too. There’s a great quote from the book where Catherine says “We can’t control the fact that we die, but we can control whether we actually live”. And to live a life that combines Playfulness, Connection & Flow sounds like a good life to lead.
Your call to action today. Reflect on these questions:
- What activities are you working on that make you smile or laugh?
- How connected do you feel with those you’re working with?
- When was the last time that you felt or even said “Time flies!”?
- Are you doing anything that combines all three?
- What do you want to do to change any of your responses above?
I would love to read some of your thoughts……