Friday, August 28, 2009

Have Fun!



A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. - Richard Branson

Fun noun light-hearted pleasure or amusement
(source: on-line Compact Oxford English Dictionary)

Fun! Don’t be ridiculous. Doing business must be taken seriously if success is desired. There are always things to do, places to go, people to meet. It’s a tough world out there; survival of the fittest and all that.

Take Bob as an example. He works hard, always has done, and he’s successful. An expert in his field he exudes confidence earning the respect of those he comes into contact with regardless of position, culture or belief. While he enjoys his work and the benefits it brings is he having any fun in the process? Let’s take a look.

When Bob works he is focused on the job, even if that involves simply meeting his secretary to organise his diary. He participates in the usual greetings and small talk to create trust and build relationships. When asked ‘how are you?’ Bob’s response is surface level and as expected, driven by a desire not to cross the invisible boundary between business and pleasure. His professional life is clearly delineated from his personal, which aids his focus and keeps his private life private. This is a common behaviour and quite understandable.

What about the fun factor? Granted, not everything we do is fun. That’s not reality either in business or life in general. The fun comes from the experience we have of something and that stems purely from our attitude. You’ll attract the attitude you display.

Fun is a state of mind and there is fun to be had everywhere. That doesn’t mean raucous office parties or making ridiculous comments during serious conversations. It can be as simple as wake up and smell the coffee to remind you that not everything has to be quite so difficult.

Test it out with our simple exercise consciously monitoring the effect it has on you and those around you.

Day 1:

Go to work as normal displaying your best ‘I’m not having any fun’ behaviour. This could be as simple as passive non-committal responses to ‘Good morning’ or when asked ‘How are you?’ The aim here is to exude a humourless, sombre, possibly downbeat attitude. Observe the impact and effect closely. Write down the outcomes:
  • Others responses both verbal and physical
  • What you attract, eg: has there been a noticeable increase around you of other downbeat humourless people?

  • Your response both verbal and physical. How are you talking to others? How does it make you feel and think? How is your energy level?

Day 2:

Go to work as normal displaying your best ‘Have Fun!’ behaviour. This could be as simple as genuine and engaging responses to ‘Good morning’ or when asked ‘How are you?’ The aim here is to exude a cheerful, interested and pleasant attitude. Observe the impact and effect closely. Write down the outcomes:
  • Others responses both verbal and physical
  • What you attract, e.g: has there been a noticeable increase around you of other generally engaging people?
  • Your response both verbal and physical. How are you talking to others? How does it make you feel and think? How is your energy level?
Bob, successful as he is, used this exercise and discovered that by displaying some of the pleasure he derived from his personal interests his normal austere business persona shifted to a more interested and engaging one. He developed even stronger relationships exponentially increasing the level of trust others had in him enabling him to achieve more with greater ease.

Not everything is happy-happy joy-joy; it would be silly and irresponsible to suggest such a thing. Consciousness of cause and effect does however allow us to create different outcomes for ourselves and those around us. Remember…
  • It doesn’t have to be so difficult
  • Not everything is personal
  • All work and no play makes Bob very dull indeed
  • We attract the behaviours that we display
You can Have Fun! every day. Take another look at the outcomes you experienced and wrote down as a result of the above exercise. Are they all you want them to be? If not talk to us and we can help you Have Fun!

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