Learn Through Play

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The Importance of Play for Adults: 3 Key Lessons from PlaySocial

For the past two years, Ziksana has hosted an annual gathering called PlaySocial.  PlaySocial is a holiday-themed celebration where we invite our community to come together and connect through play. Attendees include our past and present employees, family members, friends, clients, and other people who are simply curious about what we do at Ziksana.

On the surface, PlaySocial appears to be a fun event where we invite people together to drink beer, eat tacos, and play games – and it is! But it’s also more than that. For all of us at Ziksana, PlaySocial is a reminder of the incredible power of play. Here are three key lessons we are taking away from this year’s event about the importance of play for adults:

1. Play Accelerates Making Meaningful Connections 

PlaySocial is a powerful reminder that play significantly accelerates connection in professional settings. Every year, we are amazed at how the group’s energy shifts after we facilitate a few simple games. Instead of sitting at separate tables, people start exploring the space and playing Jenga with strangers. Conversations start flowing as people build sculptures with play-doh and pipe cleaners.

Play brings people together because it allows us to share parts of ourselves that we otherwise keep hidden. Our silliness, our creativity, our desire to experiment and fail – these are essential parts of what makes us human. When we are able to mutually share these parts of ourselves with others, we start building relationships that have the potential to satisfy our need for connection, which can increase trust in teams.

2. Play Has Business Value

PlaySocial is a testament to one of the key points we share with organizations time and time again: Play is valuable because it accelerates the type of connection that makes people feel like they are a part of something greater than themselves.

Making connections at work is important for employees and teams. Through play, it is easier to find common ground and have positive experiences with one another. When we feel meaningfully connected, we are more likely to want to help each other and work together to reach common goals.

Within the context of organizations, it is invaluable to have people who trust one another and are willing to work towards common goals. It is these types of relationships that lead to honest communication, adept problem-solving, and innovative solutions that catalyze organizational success and aid in building organizational trust

3. Play has the Power to Transform and Develop Leaders

People come to PlaySocial for all different reasons. Some because they are curious, some because they like tacos, and others because they have experienced transformation as a result of working with Ziksana. This year, one of our clients shared how working with Ziksana had taught him that it was okay to make mistakes – and how that in turn had helped him become more successful at work and at home.

Leaders who are comfortable making mistakes are more likely to be open to alternate perspectives, willing to learn, and able to lead teams toward innovative solutions. They create a fun company culture where employees want to stay and give their best effort because they feel safe to learn and grow.

At Ziksana, our mission is to activate the world of work through play-based learning, and this leader reminded us that we are doing exactly that. 

Ready to Experience the Power of Play in Your Organization?

PlaySocial may be over for this year, but we’re not done bringing people together through Play! Sign your team up for a FREE 45-minute PlayBreak, and experience how Play has the power to energize, connect, and bring valuable insights to your team and organization.

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A group of two women and two men stacking hands with excitement. With text bubble in left corner saying let's play.