The question of play, has been in existence, I would say since feelings of responsibilities, measuring, monitoring, rewarding and discipline have found their way into our lives, and especially into well organized and profitable work organizations.
The existence of play should not be eliminated from our work places, as it can prove to be rewarding for those employees who involve themselves in “work play”. Definitely add some structure, a specific goal for the organization itself, and provide all attempts to elimate harm from both the company and the lives of employees who have all chosen to participate, either in groups, or on an individual basis.
Play at work does not mean, spit balling through your paper straw you picked up at the lunch counter, punching four eyes in the face who determinately works in the corner to better himself and provide for his family. It requires some degree of, open communication, not left to group play that includes shrugs, sneers and boil over water cooler gossip that only bruises those who do not share the same same style of communication or coping strategy, and have not yet had the opportunity to take in the company’s H.R. Lunch & Learn on any general topic they have chosen to work with.
As a sales professional, I found “Play” an essential office practise I turned professional when dealing with the approach, I practised and strategized. Developed and learned from my own errors in order to reach a level in my professional consultative sales activities, ensuring my key measurements would be either reached or exceeded.
My approach to any type or style of group play began, as I silently entered my work into our cubical styled team “reach for thee top” mentality that prexisted my willingness to compete. My initial strategy was always to back down. Why? Because we didn’t share the same accounts, the same opportunities, the same demographic of customer and most importantly, our learning backgrounds were not the same. My competition was sitting at home, around the dinner table, were demands were made, such as “Dad, I need new skates”, “Dad, I want a hampster”, “Dad, can we go camping”. And yes, I wore glasses.
Myself, from day one, I had no interest in unorganized and non-communicave play. My immediate strategy was to back down, I was a little more mature and aged in this, our styles would only clash, and detramize any and all professionalism I felt was being anticipated by our employer. We were not paid as one, we were not rewarded as one, why should I ever consider myself to demonstrate a supportive “play structure” in such an unprofessional manor?
We definitely did not share same past times, same anything, except meet your work requirements and have a nice drive home. I didn’t even live in the same community, so catchiing up at the end of the day, over a cold beer, was defiantly, out of the question. So I turned to my client base, prospecting, drilling for pertinate information that would lead to qualty proposals, potential revenue for my employer, and, at the end of the day, add to & increase my commission s so I could say, yes you may have new skates, yes lets look into getting a hampster, camping(?), I’d love to.
It was my deep feelings and regard, respect and pented knowledge I felt my accounts held that left me feeling like a Gold Panner, searching for the right buzz, the right “Oh yeah, tell me more” response that I knew would flow from those with desire to make a change in their work environment, the challenge was getting them introduced to recognizing it in a way that allowed them to express themselves in a way that would show. The benefit to me, as the mediator between a world of me generating enough frustration or internal friction, to motivate an account to stay with me, as I digested their pain, and make one reasonable recommendation to bring them down & around again, while they maintained their essential activities and productivity, and not shake the structure they made themselves comfortable in, and justified. These wete also lean times, moving to a different company would change all the dynamics too much, I was out of the training gate, had enough time under my belt to understand this “Play Perspective”, and enough shoulder to keep to myself as I progressed.
Here I was, the challenger. And I won, over and over again. Living in this culture for almost seven years. Seven years of play, “Hello, this is Mr. Consultative Sales Rep, and I am calling you today so I can rip apart all understanding of every antidocal and reason, you have continued to poor resources into this structure you call, efficiency. Guess what Mr(s). Customer, your organization is suffering and has been suffering, ever since you stopped looking beyond your unmanageable & inappropriate blinders you’ve been at home with since you gave up. Could you only imagine.
But, essentially, this is what I did. Okay, on occasion I may have simply flipped one tiny solution for a new and similarity priced, feature rich solution that had high sales appeal, for the only benefit of keeping pace with my defined, scrutinized and handed down monthly measurement sheet that was apparently the insurance every being, seated in the collaborative cube-farm I was to call “Work Enviroment”, for the 7 year duration that turned out to be my #2 career.
You know, I loved it. How did I “Play”, I played fair. Wanna learn more? Then, simply pay attention as my blogging matures, and editors with their web crawlies begin picking up on my content generation.
Are you ready? Let’s continue, and most importantly, let’s go home.