Exploring Our Team Values
Over the past five episodes, we’ve explored our team values of generosity, courage, wisdom, and team. In each episode, we dove into where our values come from, what they mean, and how we are applying them to our team, our relationships, and ourselves. In the final episode of our series on values, we explore our value of fun.
In this episode, we discuss the meaning of fun and why we believe having fun is so important for building strong teams. We share examples of how we cultivate fun on the Leadership Vision team, and how the value of fun shows up in experiences with our clients. At the end of the episode, we share key takeaways for cultivating fun and building emotional safety on your team.
Defining the Value of Fun
Fun is an authentic expression or experience of freedom, joy, and happiness, which can be experienced with others or with oneself where you just have fun. In a shared experience, fun releases or creates a euphoria of a deeper bond between people. Fun lightens burdens and fun also creates memorable experiences. It moves us emotionally, it bonds us relationally, and it really is the bedrock of who we are at Leadership Vision.
Why the Value of Fun?
We believe that values anchor us into our present reality and guide us in how it is that we’re navigating the reality, the people, and the context around us. Values are a reminder of who it is that we are and who it is that we aspire to be. Fun for us at Leadership Vision is a quality that we’re trying to detect in someone even before they come onto our team. We ask ourselves, do they have a sense of humor? Are they quick to laugh? Do they have a wit about them that is light-hearted and positive? The dynamic that exists within our team is one that is fun. It’s funny, it’s playful. It is a counterbalance to the seriousness of the work that we do.
Research shows that successful teams know how to trust each other and part of that trust is developed within the context of having fun, sharing in laughter, and joking with one another. Fun offsets the intensity of the work that often happens on teams. As you have fun in a team environment, it disarms people. It allows people to feel safe and secure, and it provides a shorthand or a language that bonds the team closer together. Groups that have a sense of easiness and rapport with one another trust each other. As trust builds, the work can be more productive and effective, and then it cycles back to fun again. It’s this cycle of having fun and building trust, and having fun and building trust.
Creating Emotional Safety
Fun, laughter, and humor are more than comedic relief, they have an important role in creating emotional safety on a team. Humor, laughter, and positive joke-telling allow us to express our humanity in deeper ways than simply the transactional ways that we can get stuck in within organizations. When we can express ourselves in these more human ways that are an emotional expression of our identity, we can be vulnerable with each other.
We’ve seen over and over again how authority figures can truly sway or counterbalance whatever type of environment is happening within a team positively or negatively. If you’re a leader of a team, challenge yourself with these questions: how much do you value fun? What priority do you give to laughter, lightheartedness, joke-telling, or whatever it looks like in your context? How much do you value fun? And when was the last time your team truly had a unique, funny, laughing, humorous experience?
Takeaways for Cultivating Fun on Your Team
How do you provide the opportunity for fun to show up on your team? How do you help team members feel comfortable and safe? Below are our takeaways for cultivating fun and building emotional safety on your team.
- Step outside of your comfort zone. Share funny things about yourself, or mistakes you’ve made, and encourage others to share about themselves, too. Humanize yourself to your team, and don’t be afraid to get vulnerable.
- Create opportunities to connect that are not related to work. Bring in donuts for mandatory donut time on a break, go out for a meal, or even plan a team karaoke night. Creating these opportunities allows you to cultivate an environment outside of work where you can see a different side of someone and bond in a new way.
- Get vulnerable. How you adapt humor and fun on your team is also is going to ask you to be vulnerable. It’s going to ask you to be out there and take the risk because the greatest moments of laughter, or the greatest moments of humor, are when we are the most open.
- Remember everyone has the capacity for fun. Be open to how other people are enjoying themselves. What joy are they bringing? What are those unique and funny observations that they’re making and how is it that they can create those unique moments? Everyone has the capacity for fun. How can you provide opportunities for people to feel safe enough where they can bring that level of enjoyment to the rest of the team?
Fun in Your Strengths
How does the value of fun show up in your Strengths or the Strengths of your team? How are you creating an environment that encourages fun and builds emotional safety? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on social media, or comment on this blog.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!