Yo… Lighten Up!

Incorporating Playfulness &Letting Go of Ego in the Workplace

For part six of this Attitude is Everything series, visit You Gotta Have Grit for the Game on Blogging4Jobs.

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re just trying to accomplish something.”

~ Thomas A. Edison

Do you have fun at work?  …Or are you so stuck in your business role that the F-U-N has gotten sucked right out of you?   Do yourself a favor (and everyone else)…LIGHTEN UP!


This is the 7th attitude we’re going to dig into to help our relationships get more connected, more humanized and back in alignment to meet the business needs of the day!

Since the early 1990s, I’ve had the chance to work in a variety of different businesses. I graduated from college with an accounting degree. For a few years, I was a part of a group of young professionals who worked hard at crunching figures during the day while enjoying a few laughs during downtime, and then partied hard at night. The accounting industry was all business. We played even harder than we worked! My subsequent job move brought me into the advertising industry, and boy was it FUN. I collaborated with a range of sales and marketing professionals as we haggled, pursued business, and maintained a positive attitude. The atmosphere was vivacious and energetic. You knew what you had to do to get the job done and there was a sense of camaraderie that supported you along the way.

Now don’t let me lead you to believe that it was all days’ of wine and roses.  We fought…all of us, if we needed to.  The phrases “teamwork, collaboration and synergy” were not part of our vocabulary.  We were just one of the last generations that knew you had to work together.  On a pretty regular basis however, you could hear a boss tearing the backside off an employee who was slackin’.  This was called motivation and quite frankly – it worked (mostly).  As with everything in life, there certainly was a level of misuse of rank and privilege.

Times have changed and the world is now focusing on social justice.  But how does this relate to the bottom line?  …And when exactly is it ok to let someone know that you’re “bluck’in” pissed off??

We really have to get out of our egos and infuse a little playfulness back into the work space   Business is about getting the job done – It’s not about YOU!

Do you have an EGO problem?

Are you a major control freak….or maybe the consummate cry-baby?

Let’s put the focus back on business, have some F-U-N along the way, and keep our eye on our relationship with the Bottom Line.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you so stressed out and fearful on the job?  What are you demanding about your work relationships?  Stop your crying and assert yourself in a productive way.  Get in trouble for the right reasons. This is the only way you’ll earn the respect of your peers and your management.  Unless you’re completely screwing up your job, you’re not going to get fired…but you will get re-aligned on the company goals.  Your relationships will feel better.
  • Are you emotionally void?  Hard to read?  Rumored to be the company @**whole?  Then guess what? There’s probably a piece of truth to it.  Own it!  Stop trying to control everything and everyone.  Empower your teammates to help you make decisions. Allow life to not be perfect.  Trust me, you’ll feel better and be more connected to the people you work with.

Let go of your frustration and anxiety.


Find acceptance along the way that people, life and business are not a perfect science.  It’s really that simple.

Albert Ellis, considered to be the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third) says:

“There are three musts that hold us back:  I must do well.  You must do well.  And the world must be easy.”  ~ Albert Ellis

Think about it.

How are you at putting the fun back into your work and life?

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Kathleen Mangiafico

Kathleen Mangiafico, ORSCC is a Relationship Specialist. She works with individuals and organizations on how to navigate through cultural and generational conflict. With a mix of corporate/non-profit experience and a 19 yr. culturally rich marriage (with 3 vivacious boys!), she has the expertise to shift your perspective from, "Who's doing what to whom?" to "What's trying to happen for the sake of YOUR business relationship?" Connect with Kathleen.

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