There is so much that you can learn from a kindergarten classroom that applies to workplace wellness. Art activities teach us to express ourselves. Naptime teaches us to take care of ourselves. Sharing toys teaches us to work as a team. Most importantly, the structured, yet playful environment gives us the opportunity to connect with one another deeply.
Imagine your team walking into a room where the chairs are set up in a circle, and there is a colorful percussion instrument on every chair. Despite the fact that you are at work, it has an ambiance that resembles a kindergarten classroom. When I facilitate corporate drumming events, I find it fascinating to see how uncomfortable participants feel as they enter the room. At almost every event, I hear the following phrases:
- "I have no rhythm."
- "Can't I just watch from the outside of the circle?"
- "Do we really have to do this?"
Inspired by kindergarten classrooms, the 3 B's format (Belonging, Bonding and Believing) is the framework for my corporate drumming events. This framework goes beyond your typical corporate event. Whether it's a meeting, training event, team-building event or group wellness activity, here's how you can use this framework to empower your team.
Everyone has a yearning to belong to something. When you intentionally create an environment that facilitates belonging, it's the first step to building trust among the members of a team. As human beings, we all want to feel like we belong to something.
TheHRspecialist.Com says, "When employees feel like they belong in an organization, they'll give you their all. When they feel like outsiders, you'll only get a half-hearted effort at best. Belonging is a basic human drive, along with food, water and shelter. Yet, many leaders overlook its importance in the workplace and, in fact, may be creating a "culture of exile" that drives employees away."
Towards the beginning of my corporate drumming events, I have participants repeat the phrase, "I feel happy when I'm with friends" while they're playing the phrase on their percussion instruments. Once they have this down, I ask them to look around at the other participants and smile. Within minutes, everyone is smiling and laughing. The people who felt they had no rhythm begin to feel more confident.
Action: Create fun and lighthearted activities that facilitate a sense of belonging.
According to Bridget Grenville-Cleave on PositivePsychologyNews.Com, "It's common sense that good relationships with family, friends and co-workers must contribute to psychological health and good work performance." Once people on a team feel a sense of belonging, they become open to bonding with each other.
As humans, we have a deep desire to bond with other people - we need to connect with others. The perception that a fellow coworker doesn't 'play well with others' or isn't a 'team player' is a common challenge in most workplaces. I address this in my workshops by having the participants create their own song.
One person starts with a simple rhythm pattern and each person adds something it, one at a time. Within minutes, the participants have a complex rhythm going with each person playing their own unique part. They must bond in order to work together. The people who just wanted to watch from outside of the drum circle are now deeply engaged.
Action: Create activities that facilitate bonding and get your team working together.
Once team members genuinely bond with one another, they become open to believing - believing in themselves and something bigger than themselves. Believing is nurtured and reinforced when team members show appreciation for one another. Towards the end of my drumming events, I randomly pick people to take a drum solo.
The drum solo can be whatever that person wants it to be. After someone plays his or her drum solo, I ask everyone else to give a big round of applause and cheer for the soloist. The people who said, "Do we have to do this?" at the beginning of the event are usually saying, "I need to buy a drum."
In the article, How to Increase Team Member Commitment for Successful Teams, Susan M. Heathfield says that, "The depth of the commitment of team members to work together effectively to accomplish the goals of the team is a critical factor in team success. The relationships team members develop out of this commitment are key in team building and team success."
Action: Create activities that facilitate your team members showing appreciation to each other.
At the conclusion of every single, one of my drumming events, the mood, morale and group dynamic has totally transformed. I feel incredibly grateful that I get to see participants leave my events feeling empowered.Again, there is so much that you can learn from a kindergarten classroom that applies to workplace wellness.
The 3 B's format (Belonging, Bonding, and Believing) goes far beyond my corporate drumming events - this simple framework of designing meetings, training events, team building events or group wellness activities will lead to healthier team. Over time, it will inspire a better culture and greater productivity.
About the Author
Mike Veny is a compelling speaker and drumming event facilitator, sponsored by Toca Percussion. He delivers entertaining, engaging and educational experiences to companies throughout the world. Mike is a member of the National Speakers Association, the Global Speakers Federation, Toastmaster's International and Meeting Professionals International.
Connect with Mike today explore how he can add value to your upcoming event, meeting or conference and how interactive drumming can give your participants the memory of a lifetime.