Getting Serious about Fun

This is the sixth installment in the series I’m calling “Alphabet for Leaders.” Today it’s the letter “F.”

Fun = what provides amusement or enjoyment; Playful often boisterous action or speech.

People talk about fun, believe in fun, encourage fun, and want to enjoy fun but they don’t actually have fun. Appointments postpone fun. Deadlines cancel fun. Deliverables delete fun. Problems push out fun. Frankly, I don’t see enough fun in the workplace. Do you?

If you don’t get serious about having fun you won’t have it.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing,” Dale Carnegie.

Fun connects people, builds trust, and enhances productivity. I’m closest to the leader’s I’ve had fun with. Cross-country skiing, over-night camping trips, shooting guns, playing cards, a good cigar, or just hanging out strengthens connections. If you aren’t in a tough situation, it’s coming. Fun builds a foundation that sustains relationships.

In addition, fun builds trust. Fun helps ease the strain of offenses, relieves stress, and establishes “second-chance” environments. Furthermore, Stephen Covey clearly explains that trust enhances productivity in, “The Speed of Trust.”

Additionally, as a public speaker, I’ve learned fun opens the heart and mind of an audience. Fun assists hearing and understanding. Fun is a channel for new ideas.

Having fun at work?

Avoid negative fun like off color jokes or hurtful humor.

Appoint a director or fun.

Begin all meetings with stories about people you’ve helped.

Take off your shoes.

Set up a puzzle or some other game in your office or lobby. (Lego’s or some other toy)

Get up from your desk and regularly take a brisk, brief walk.

Candy dish! (or healthy treat)

Enjoy a group lunch.

If you aren’t serious about fun you’re too serious.

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How can people get serious about having fun at work?

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While writing this post John Baldoni tweeted “7 Ways to Enjoy others at work,” post by Mary Jo Asmus. I add it here as another resource.