District 41 Toastmasters

Unlocking Success: The Hidden Power of Play

Play is often associated with children’s games and recreation, but its significance in our lives extends far beyond mere amusement. It is a universal activity that transcends age, culture, and species. From toddlers building with blocks to adults engaging in strategic board games, the act of play is a fundamental aspect of human nature. While the power of play is a dynamic force that influences our personal growth, so is creativity, and even our ability to communicate effectively.

Effective communication is a cornerstone of personal and professional growth. It relies not only on the words we speak but also on the way we express emotions, connect with others, and adapt to different situations. Imagine two children working on puzzles; each will use different techniques to complete it, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Similarly, in an office setting, whether using storytelling for presentations or graphics for communication, there is no singular correct approach. In both examples, we see the power of play based on individual choice.

The well-known quote “learning by doing” also resonates with “learning by playing.” Not only do physical actions but also mental activities during play help us explore and express a wide range of emotions. Whether it’s through imaginative storytelling, brainstorming sessions, puzzles, or strategic planning, play allows us to step into different emotional states, helping us become more attuned to our feelings and better understand the emotions of others.

Play fosters creativity by encouraging us to think outside the box. For example, playful thinking can help speakers come up with unique ideas and approaches to captivate their audience. Beyond the professional setting, play often involves interaction with others, fostering empathy and strengthening social bonds. In organizational meetings, members engage in active listening, support, and presentations, requiring them to empathize with the perspectives of both the speaker and the audience. This builds the foundation for more compassionate and effective communication.

More importantly, play teaches us to adapt to changing circumstances and unexpected challenges. For example, for a customer service role to succeed, playful communication training equips individuals with the flexibility to navigate sudden and new situations with grace, extending beyond scripted responses, and ultimately leading to the positive success of the company.

If you are someone continuously seeking growth and open to new learning experiences, incorporating “play” into your life will provide diverse approaches to both personal and professional aspects. Additionally, it equips individuals with adaptability, a valuable skill for navigating unexpected challenges.

Neha Saru Magar
KUSOM Toastmasters Club