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Play is one of the first arenas in which we learn how to work with others.   Share, take turns and don’t pinch.  (It took me a while to get that last one.)

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a PlayWorks event.  PlayWorks exists to create safe, happy and healthy play at elementary school recess.

As I was listening, I was thinking about how in many ways we’re just kids at recess in adult bodies at work.  Think about it – you can learn a lot about a kid at recess:

  • Do they take the lead in bringing kids together to choose a game?
  • Do they adhere to the rules, ignore them or make up new ones?
  • Do they push, shove or cut in line?
  • Do they invent a new way to play?
  • Do they isolate?
  • How do they treat those that they don’t know well?

You can also learn a lot about the school through the recess rules.   One school had the following:

  • No going off the black top
  • No running
  • No touching each other
  • No yelling

Another school had:

  • Play by the rules
  • Include others and welcome them to play
  • Be kind and helpful
  • If someone makes a mistake, share “Good effort, nice try.”

Consider: How does your team play together in accomplishing the work?  And what rules (values or guiding principles) do you all commit to, to create the context in which the team thrives in getting the work done?

To thrive in getting your team’s work done, check out Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace – available now.

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1.3 min readLast Updated: October 12th, 2021Published On: May 25th, 2017Categories: Organizational Development Process, Team Building IdeasTags:

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