Managers: Put Some Fun in Your Day

How do you put fun in your day? That sounds like a simple question.

Keeping the fun element alive every day can be a big challenge. Life gets in the way, right?

I have a new friend in Tony Brigmon. Tony’s claim to fame is that he was, for many years, the “Ambassador of Fun” at Southwest Airlines. Yes, the same Southwest that is notorious for its culture of fun and performance.

How did they get to have all the fun?

Tony tells me it was a labor of love to build that culture. The move to be that kind of company had its roots in the founders’ minds. I’ll save that for another story.

Here’s how Tony describes the process to have more fun.

1. Learn how to reset your thinking –  Instead of placing all the focus on the problems of the day, find the victories each day. Make a simple list of things like “I’m glad I had coffee in the pantry this morning”, or “I’m happy my car started and got me on the road”, or “I appreciate my best friend because _________”.

While this sounds so simple, it actually has an intense dynamic rooted in the science of our brains. Making your brain think positive has a cumulative effect. Do this routine for several days and weeks and you will see a noticeable shift in your sense of fun in life.

Adding fun helped over 10,000 employees at a major airline turn that company into one of the most highly rated places to work and their customer satisfaction rankings are best in the industry.

2. Master the art of story telling, your “smile” stories –  Life gives us so much material to work with. We all have stories to tell. Get some good books or watch some videos of great story tellers. Learn how they can zero in on the critical parts of the story and strip away unnecessary words. The message can be short but powerful.

3. Deliver emotional generosity –  Build a climate for being a more joyful and giving individual. Stop taking yourself so serious. Think of others around you. Share kind words.

4. Fun doesn’t come at someone else’s expense – I’m adding this point. Trying to make light of a situation should never be at the expense of someone’s pride or reputation. If you are going to make fun of anyone, it better be you. Herb Kelleher, the legendary co-founder of Southwest was famous for creating his own self-deprecating moments, poking fun at himself for others to enjoy. It was classic.

Life has its own twists and turns without us adding to the drama.

[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]When it’s your chance to inject some fun in the world around you, why not do it?[/shareable]

You don’t have to be extra talented nor the class clown to make a difference. Just keep a keen eye out for joyous and fun opportunities.

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2 thoughts on “Managers: Put Some Fun in Your Day”

  1. This applies even if the person being managed is just oneself, which is probably the most difficult person to manage.

    Right, Doug?

    Reply

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