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How important is playfulness in the workplace?  It might be more important than you think. 

When I was a pastor in Kansas I served under Pastor Dave.  He is a few years older than I am and we got along very well.  I looked forward to going to the office every day.  There were about a half-dozen people on staff and we enjoyed each other’s company.  Work didn’t always feel like work, it was like a family.  A family with a leader that did not always take life seriously.  

Pastor Dave was a prankster.  He laughed easily and made it a joy to come to work.  His antics were not always directed at others.  He is so comfortable with who he is that his humor would just as easily be aimed at himself.   

Playfulness holds a prominent place in the toolkit of emotionally intelligent leaders

Daniel Goleman

Everyone wanted to give their best for him.  They knew he had a work hard, play hard philosophy that did not have to be spoken out loud.  Give your best, and let everything play out as you continue to strive.  Pastor Dave is one of the greatest leaders I have had the opportunity to serve with in any capacity.  And it had to do with his playfulness. 

It might sound odd that a strong, dedicated leader had a funny side that at times bordered on absurd.  It made sense though when reading in Daniel Goleman’s book primal Leadership on page 14 where he says  “playfulness holds a prominent place in the toolkit of emotionally intelligent leaders” 

If you are in a leadership position, you are undoubtedly working hard and have a similar expectation of those you work and serve with.  Are you also taking the time to add a sense of levity to the workplace?  Are you having fun?  Is there a playfulness in your workspace?  What can you do to start moving in that direction in the coming year?