Play Increases Self-Awareness
Play increases self-awareness and that is key to leadership.
Do you know how you play?
I love playing. We don’t play enough as adults. That’s what kids do and it matters.
We know play is connected with creativity and innovation, and I love using play concepts in my work (because they’re fun!).
Play is also connected with something else equally important for leadership: self-awareness. Play magnifies our strengths and our struggles and shows us who we are. It’s something I love about improv, especially .
How you show up and lead with teams shows up in how you play. Play is self-revelatory and it’s the best leadership diagnostic test I know of.
How You Play is How You Lead: What Color is *Your* Leadership Umbrella?
Do you know how you lead? Play will tell you.
If you are controlling, you control in play. And, if you talk over people in meetings and in life, it shows up in scenes. When you don’t listen to others, that shows on stage because you will run over offers, drop gifts, forget relationships and names (and this habit shows up in how you deal with people in life and business!). If you are agile and able to let go and play everyday, that shows up, too.
Write a New Story About Play: Powerful Mirror and Tool
How you interact with teams everyday – all these micro habits that add up to your communication and leadership style – show up on the playful improv stage.
Play is supposed to be fun – there isn’t tons of rules. We do have a few rules in improv, however. And once you know the rules; you can break them!
I have seen the gamut in my work on business and theater stages. People who are adaptable and playful have tremendous fun. People who like to control things rather than collaborate often get frustrated because they try to control outcomes – just as they do at work.
If you are willing to let go of the idea (and illusion) of control, be patient of yourself and others, embrace play, improv – as any form of play – can rewire your brain, train you to be more collaborative and make you a better, more self-aware leader.
Play reveals who you are and magnifies those qualities. That can be a tremendous mirror. Great leaders are don’t have to be perfect. They do have to be self-aware and open to change where they need to.
Without self-awareness there is no leadership.
You Can Change How You Lead
The good news: play can also help you change how you lead.
So let go, relax. And have fun.
Play is fun – if you let it be. The dividends will show up everywhere.
Let your leader out to play frequently.
I promise it’s worth it.
Kathy Klotz-Guest is a story and creativity strategist, speaker and author. An improviser and comedian as well as an MBA, MA, Kathy brings interactivity, energy and innovation to events, talks, and workshops. She’ll have your audience laughing and learning and that’s what it’s all about. Well, *that* and the hokey pokey.
Interested in having her speak at your company? Contact Kathy.
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