Annemarie Steen I TEDx Tallaght I What happens when you press PLAY

From Playing the Game of Seriousness, it’s now time for playing a different game: The Game of SeriousLESS…and to allow and welcome our authentic and playful selves to come back to the surface. Not only at home, but especially at work. Besides the fact that this will increase our mental health and sense of well-being, it will also bring us vital lifeskills to deal with today’s fast changing and complex world.

You’re welcome to join my playful community to get updates, inspiration and resources on Playfulness & Playful Learning.

Playfully yours,

Annemarie Steen

I’m afraid, but I’m gonna do it anyway…UHM!

Hi,

In my work as a facilitator of playful learning(*), I meet a lot of different people. The ones that are enthusiastic from the start and willing to try everything immediately. The ones that are a little shy and hesitant, but after some reassurance they will try, and the ones that say NO from the start. I notice a lot of limiting believes about being playful that’s holding them back. Recognize any of these? Playfulness is childish, ít’s crazy, it’s ok in sports, but not in business, etc.

Getting the benefits and learninginsights from Playful Learning is not something you can learn from a book. It’s an experience. So therefore it’s vital that I get my participants to leave their comfortzone and join the exercises. And from my experience, 99% of my participants do…and respond with high energy and powerful learninginsights.

So how do I do it? Here are some strategies I use.

First it is important that the participants get the WHY of Playfulness.

So, I often start with explaining the difference between left and right brain functions. I show them that succesful businesses nowadays are using their creative right brain capacities to innovate, to use design, storytelling, play, empathy and meaning.  Then I ask them to leave their logical, analytical left brain quiet for a while and invite them on an experiential journey to experience their right brain.

right left brain

If the group is very leftbrain orientated (technical people), I sometimes use Steve Jobs’ “Stay Hungry, stay Foolish” or quotes from Einstein.

After the introduction of the WHY Playfulness is important, I tell them that it’s natural to feel fear. Doing something out of the ordinary is ‘out of comfortzone’. Sometimes I share a story from my personal experience with an experiment that I conducted on a busstation at 7.00 am in the morning. I handed out 80 free blowing bubble sets to waiting travellers. A lot of them reacted with fear.

In order to deal with the fear, I often show my participants this video. In this clip you see that fear is causing you to take a step back. The way how to deal with the fear, is to reverse this initial tendency and take a step forward.

Finally, I teach the participants a mantra: I’m afraid, but I’m gonna do it anyway…UHM (with the UHM we all take the necesary step forward). It creates fun and commitment, and as soon as someone is holding back, I can refer to the ‘I’m afraid’ mantra and invite them to do it anyway.

frog

And then we start seriously playing and learning 🙂

With Playful greetings,

Annemarie Steen

(*) In the Netherlandswww.steentrain.nl, International with www.ha-p.com

What childhood dream is still present in your daily life?

When I was a child, I remember watching an animated childrensprogram on tv. It was about a pelican with a big mouth. Whenever there was a problem, he carried everything he needed in his beak. I found this a facinating thought and decided to create something alike. From a carton box I built sort of a robotsuit for myself, with my arms sticking out. In the suit I would put all kinds of handy stuff to carry with me, like scissors, tape, rope, pens, paper, extra cloths, something to eat, etc. I felt I could deal with every possible situation that would occur and that felt very good (ignoring the fact that walking around in a box looks a bit silly).

In high school I bought my first hiking backpack, and often it was just standing in my room, packed and ready to go. When I was 17, I made my first independent of my parents trip with my cousin, to France & Spain. This went very well and a year later we went to Egypt and Israël. Since then, I loved to travel with my backpack, sometimes for months at a time. Everything I needed was in my backpack, and that felt good.

A couple of years ago I bought my dreamcar, an old Mercedes Campervan (1983). In it, two double beds (after doing some rearranging), a little fridge, cooking possibility, even a small toilet/shower space, lots of little cupboards to put in my handy stuff and clothing in, and best of all, I can drive it to wherever I like. Eventhough I bump my head regularly, it is very small livingspace for 3 people (my family) and the car starts to seriously show rusty signes of old age…I feel totally happy with it. I can carry around all the stuff that I need to deal with every possible situation…like my childhood cartonrobotbox.

What childhooddream is still present in your daily life?

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie

Storytelling, great tool for selfdiscovery and reinvention

Last week I attented a 5 day online seminar on storytelling (www.reinventionsummit.com), with 4 hours of interviews with expertspeakers a day, and the possibility of online chatting with up to 99 other participants from all around the world. This was my first online seminar and found it to be very interesting. #lovenewtechnology

The biggest insight I got, was that The more personal your story is, the more universal it becomes.

Succesfull speakers, bloggers and online personalities shared their moments of truth. And when they decided to throw down their ‘perfect’ masks and dared to really show their authentic selves, their fears, their pain, their frustration, it was the beginning of their successtory. Apparantly we want to read and hear stories we can relate to on a personal level.

Another thing that I found interesting was, that most people think that they don’t have very dramatic stories to tell. Well, Life is dramatic, so we all have stories! (maybe you’ve become used to the drama in your life so much, that it feels normal to you).

The title of the seminar was Reinvention Summit. So what does storytelling have to do with reinvention? Well, if you review your own life’s experiences for stories, they are all about selfdiscovery and reinventing yourself. Your life’s themes are to be found in your experiences, insights & stories.

Ofcourse reviewing your life for these kind of (sometimes very hard, painful of shameful) experiences, can be challenging and it takes a lot of guts to share them with others. Ofcourse, you don’t have to. But I believe it’s worth the effort of exploring them and telling them (or writing them down) at least to yourself.

So what’s your story?

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen