The Art of Playful Conversation

Throughout history, when we imagine great leaders, philosophers, or pioneers we often picture them as stern and serious in demeanor. To think such innovative and inspiring thoughts, there must be no room for whimsical thinking, but the truth is that some of the best inspiration comes from a place of playfulness.

Did you know that even the Dalai Lama has an impish sense of humor? It’s true, and he often refers to himself as a “professional laugher.”

There is power in playfulness and opening up discussions with others where there is permission to be lighthearted and spirited. Not only can whimsical conversations and thoughts spark creativity and feelings of happiness, but they may also improve your overall health!

Ways playfulness may improve your wellbeing:

  •         Reduces anxiety and stress
  •         Increases productivity
  •         Increases emotional resilience
  •         Reduces depression
  •         Fosters better relationships
  •         Leads to smarter decision-making
  •         Teaches new skills
  •         Diversifies income streams
  •         Generates new interests
  •         Reduces cortisol
  •         Increases endorphin production

So, how can we take advantage of the benefits above and make whimsical conversation an intentional part of our lives?

Guided Map to Whimsical Conversation

Set Aside Time

In order to invite playful, creative, and eccentric thinking into your life, you need to set aside time to have these conversations. Whether at a team meeting, with a partner, or with a good friend, pre-plan time to have judgment-free conversation. Open up space with these people to talk freely about dreams, fantasies, and your imagination.

Only Say Yes

Try not to close off the conversation by thinking or responding with a “No.” Saying yes will create more discussion and lead to more ideas and inspiration. Being open to possibilities in the moment doesn’t mean you have committed to anything; it just means that you have not closed off possibilities.

Be Open Minded

Opportunities like this are meant to retrain the brain and exercise new ways of thinking. You cannot do that if you use the same mindset. Try to remain open and challenge any negative or prejudice thoughts throughout the conversation.

Mind Map Thoughts

Write down the ideas that arise from the dialogue. You can use tools like Miro to map out and document the creative flow. No matter where it leads, you will want to refer to the content for reference.

Let It Sit

No immediate action is necessary. Take time and let all the information that was discussed settle. You may want to refer to any notes that were taken and revisit the conversation in your mind. Talk through things that really stuck with you and consider what, if any, you may want to act upon.

Start Today!

Making time at work or within your personal life for playful interaction taps into unlimited potential. Not only can you benefit directly from its effects on your well-being, but your team will be more productive and engaged in the workplace. Personally, you may try things you have never done before or challenge yourself to reach new goals. If nothing else, you will probably find a smile on your face more often! Remember that action is not always necessary; you will find benefit just in challenging new parts of your brain. We encourage you today to find ways to be more intentionally playful and open your mind to the possibilities that await you.