Bring Magic to the Workplace
Yesterday, walking into the local food shelf where I volunteer, I encountered a staff member dressed as a skeleton. She told me they were hosting a trick or treat event for the community, so the staff decided to dress in costumes. As someone who loves Halloween (my birthday is Oct. 30), I embraced their spirit. I didn’t have time to go home and find a costume, so I grabbed a spider off the bulletin board and pinned it to my COVID mask.
This frivolity got me reflecting on times in my career when Halloween and work intersected. One year, my entire department got into the spirit. The Fun Committee planned a party replete with decorations, a pumpkin carving contest, and a spooky skit related to our work. Everyone dressed in costumes. We laughed for years about that day!
Another Halloween, I brought a wand to work. When I swooshed into a conference room wearing a magician’s robe and waving my wand, people were startled. But when I incorporated the symbolism of a magic into our problem solving discussion, they relaxed and got into the game of it. My wand didn’t make all our problems disappear, but the levity made solving them a little more playful.
How can symbols of magic and creativity spice up the workplace? When in a state of “play” people are more likely to explore what’s possible. In fact, brain imaging studies show that relaxation and playfulness enhance areas of the brain associated with creativity. Research about neuroscience and play reveal that playfulness:
- increases imagination
- creates a simultaneous send of safety and adventure
- invokes creativity
- encourages us to adapt to the outside world while remaining authentic
So in the spirit of Halloween, I dare you add a little play and magic to your workplace. Let me know what happens!