Thanks to Zen to Zany!
First of all, congratulations to the small but mighty group of keen explorers of the “Think Referrals Business Networking” group who embraced a Buffoonery Teambuilding Workshop recently. Rainer Shmoll, CEO of Think Referrals; Rhiannon Foster, Realtor extraordinaire for Royal LePage; Jason Scott, of Fitness Town & the fabulous Power Plate; Margarete Vinke , Independent Associate of Legal Shield; Marlise Mellett, Marketing, Sales & Promotions Manager for Doolin’s Pub & properties; Dr. Dilyana Nestorova, Acupuncturist & Herbologist with Vista Wellness and Gary Chomyn, The SalesMD.
These people recognize that play is just as important as a fitness workout, eating correctly, and any self-development educating learning. I commend them for getting curious about what a Buffoonery Workshop could offer them.
The word “buffoonery”, the English definition of the tricky technique for this team-building process based on the French “Bouffon”…
…can startle people and give an impression of “not serious”, “silly”, “un-productive playing”, and cause them either to laugh, and want to know more, or smile while thinking “this is not for me, and much too foolish”.
Some of that is true. Yes, it’s silly. Yes, it’s not serious. Yes, it’s foolish. But, according to many studies, play proves to be a crucial element for effectively maneuvering in this world and most definitely NOT unproductive! Acclaimed writers Daniel H. Pink, Stuart Brown M.D., and Jonah Lehrer all address the importance of play.
I asked some of the group if they had any impressions after the workshop they would like to share.
“What I took away as a precious gift from you, Trilby, as you led us in a safe and trustworthy environment, was that I became aware of letting my energy (emotions) flow; then I started to feel and connect with what is really important to me on my journey in life. The biggest reflection from the workshop in my mind is “connecting with me through the eyes of others”.
We enjoyed your unbridled laughing, Margarete!
“Brilliant experience: for self-growth, for therapy, for discovering yourself and of course for FUN!!! Truly honoured and happy to have the chance to be a Buffoon! Thank you sincerely, Trilby!” Dr. Dilyana Nestorova
Knowing your trepidation for “performing”, Dilyana, it was fun to see you dive in!
“I loved doing the buffoonery session so if I were to say something about it – I would have to say how much I enjoyed getting out of my shell. It really loosened me up around a group of people that I try to be more business-like around and realized that it’s more fun to relax and be yourself.” Marlise Mellett
You work in a playful environment, Marlise. I appreciate that you wanted to explore that further!
“I gained personal insight and awareness.” Rhiannon Foster
As an already wonderfully expressive person, Rhiannon, it was great to see you play more, and also aid in giving permission to the others to play. Thank you!
“Taking the time to search deep into my Buffoon was a truly amazing experience. You took control, you knew exactly how to make me open up, perform, and relax, but most of all have FUN!!!
I’d never felt, or seen myself through other people’s behaviour, mimicking me, not in a bad way, but to see myself through other people in the group, from their movement.
I really am a confident individual, and through your workshop, I feel even more confident in a different way. My business is of a serious nature, and my personality can reflect that. However, with just a few little tweaks from you, getting me out of my comfort zone was really a huge achievement.”
As someone in the Fitness business, Jason, you realize how important it is to connect with our bodies. When we are in tuned with what are bodies are doing, it can be enlightening, and helpful to our every day. Thank you, for boldly taking it a step further.
It is always a joy for me to witness each individual’s personality pop out in a safe, free environment. I can’t think of a better mission in life.
Is play a priority in your life?
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
How unpleasant is it to work beside someone who pretends to get a long with you, but ultimately is sending a deep green cloud drifting your way?
I am not unfamiliar with that feeling of someone close by making things difficult because of envy. I just didn’t realize it at the time. “Who would be envious of ME?! Good grief!” When those same people became happier, and even joyful, when I was going through a rough period, I knew this was NOT normal! Even worse, when gestures of sabotage were delivered with the goal of spoiling a good moment occurred, it was time to zoom away.
A challenge if you are stuck working with someone of this nature!
Years later, I think, what if we had “buffooned” or played together in some boisterous way? Would that have improved our “togetherness” and ultimately our working relationship?
Do you have experiences of this nature? How were they solved?
The following article got me pondering the benefits of playing with our workmates!
Envy Begets Sabotage in a Disconnected Workplace: Study
By Evelyn So, Epoch Times:
Managers take note! Envious employees are more likely to engage in workplace sabotage if they have low social identification with their co-workers, new research from North America suggests.
“We often hear that people who feel envious of their colleagues try to bring them down by spreading negative rumors, withholding useful information, or secretly sabotaging their work,” study co-author Karl Aquino of the University of British Columbia said in a press release.
Recently in Vancouver, Canada, a big controversy arose because of- quote from article: The Vancouver Sun: “ping-pong, air hockey, foosball, archery, bocce, shuffleboard, Frisbee golf, volleyball, basketball and the Frisbee game Ultimate.”
“Other suggestions included playing games like Pictionary or Scattergories, learning to play the Chinese tile game mah-jong, going for a hay ride or a trail walk, or relaxing and chatting at a campfire.”
(Sounds like a lot of fun…. oops)
These actions took place, or were encouraged to take place during the Professional Development Days for the Eric Humber School of Vancouver. It did not go over well with B.C. Teachers’ Federation. And, according to the Vancouver Sun, was deemed “regrettable” by B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert.
When I read this article, my heart sank, and then I laughed at the absurdity of the seriousness of it. If the B.C. Teacher’s Federation had read Stuart Brown’s book, “Play- How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul“, they might have been praising the choices of Eric Humber School. I sure would have.
Indeed there are many studies that prove that “playing” is a healthy necessity for our survival, and a big boost for employees, revealed in much more productivity. Hmmm…. And, as Geoff Johnson from the Vancouver Sun pointed out in his article, “Play Day for Teachers Not Out of Place in Big Business World“, the corporate or business sector are realizing the opportunities their companies have if they allow their employees to play, and ultimately get more innovated.
Check in with some of the companies who like to play and see how they’re doing. Google, Microsoft, Vancouver local 1-800-GotJunk embrace and reap the benefits.
“Production matters now, but creativity is the source of all growth.” “Play is the mother of invention.” – Stuart Brown, from his book “Play…”
Do you have opportunity for play in your work? Would love to hear about it!
“Play is a simple and powerful catalyst for successful and joyful living.
When we play, we open our heart and expand our creative mind to new possibilities. We are more curious and engage with life more fully in the moment. We live with less attachment to ideas, agendas or the perceived “right way” of doing things. We connect to a world beyond our limited self and allow the mystery of life and all its potential to unfold more easily and naturally.
In turn, we become more flexible and adaptable with life’s unpredictable cycles, find creative solutions in unconventional ways and take risks to try new ideas. With levity, life becomes so much more productive and enjoyable!”
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with Vince for a Living Vision Retreat, where we shared the stage and lead a group of 60 into their bouffons. I would work with Vince again in a heartbeat! (and I can hear his voice gently scolding me and correcting my vocabulary, “play with Vince again… play, Trilby”. He’s right!
And don’t forget to PLAY!
When I was little, I didn’t want to grow up. The grown up world looked terribly serious.
One day when we were kids hanging out in the back yard, my friend told me that she couldn’t wait to get married and have kids. Wow. I thought she was nuts. Not me!
Now, gazillions of years later I know what my childhood instincts were telling me. There was going to be a lot less play in the grown up world and a lot more problems to solve. I just knew.
One day on a walk, I watched an impish mix of adults and kids playing soccer with abandon. It made me grin and I knew that nothing else could be on their minds. Too busy playing, they were in the elusive “now” where all the great contemporary gurus are telling us to be. (have you read Eckart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”?) The soccer game was a perfect example.
Theatre stage work offers this opportunity for me and I believe my journey to this world was an honest trek from childhood. I needed to keep playing. It felt like air, a serious necessity. Being a character on a stage, in a situation, with a live audience, if you are sincere with your work, telling a story, will keep you divinely present. Read more
by Timothy Carpenter
Pablo Picasso once famously quipped, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
There is a relatively new phenomenon that, truth be told, started decades ago, as phenomena often do — it’s called “creativity and aging.” A landmark study by researcher Gene Cohen M.D., who passed away this past year, proves that older people who engage in arts programs taught by professional artists show improved health — fewer doctor visits, reduced medication usage, overall improvements in physical and mental health. The programs studied drew upon a range of art and cultural disciplines, such as painting, pottery, dance, music, poetry, drama, material culture and oral histories in a creative context.
Read the rest of the article by Timothy Carpenter