Bringing Playfulness and Laughter to Agile Teams

Photo by leodelrosa

Photo by leodelrosa

One of my peers is great at making people laugh--it's something that I am learning to do more.  My style of playfulness is different from his, but it's an important metaskill for coaches to develop.  Laughter eases stress and opens possibilities.  When assessing an agile team, one of the key elements I look for is team laughter.  A group that laughs together regularly has formed bonds.  People are comfortable when they joke around, and inside jokes are a sign of shared history.

And according to research, laughter "boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity."  What else could bring so many benefits for companies?  Many workplaces are seriously lacking laughter; adults over the age of 35 laugh an average a 15 times per day, and in the US, we laugh less on weekdays than we do on weekends.  Yikes.  There is a BIG opportunity for the power of humor to do some good.

How can you increase laughter in your teams?

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.