Our philosophy & principles
We employ both science and humor to facilitate growth.
There is a reason that people use fun and game play to teach young people.
It’s not because children need to be enticed to learn. They’re born eager to absorb everything around them. We make learning fun because it’s effective at ensuring retention of the information. Learning can be more or less effective depending on how the learner feels at the time of instruction. Emotion carries a lot of weight as people make connections, apply new information to themselves, and consider incorporating it into their actions. This is true of children, but it is actually more-so for adults, because most adults have already made up their mind, and don’t feel they need to change. So how do you get them to change their minds? With emotion.
Feel, Think, Do is the basic equation when it comes to helping people change. If they are defensive, bitter, resentful, or even just tired when they are asked to re-think what they think they already know, it’s unlikely that they will.
Understanding fosters empathy; Empathy fosters Change.
When we understand others it affords us more patience for them and their needs. We better understand others when we are able to relate to them. We learn to relate to others by seeing how our needs are the same as others’ needs. Empathy facilitates prosocial or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced, so that people behave in a more compassionate manner.
We Take Humor Seriously.
Research shows that informality and humor accelerate change more effectively than dull or shaming lectures. Humor helps in difficult situations because when we all laugh together we feel less discomfort and are able to let go of some of the tension around challenging issues. It's a valuable tool that makes difficult work fun, facilitates group cohesion, improves morale, and enhances communications & collaboration. Introducing levity into a group dynamic lays the groundwork for channels of interpersonal communications that fuels improved relations.
A Lighter Approach Yields Better Outcomes. (Yes, really.)
Our approach is designed to impart:
More effective management and leadership
Strategies for improved communication between colleagues and managers/leaders
A greater awareness of existing or potential causes of disharmony that impacts an agency’s productivity and culture
A greater understanding of team members’ styles, values, and approaches to the work
Increased “soft skills” & “emotional intelligence” knowledge and proficiencies
Skills for defusing tension and building cohesion in the workplace
The identification of environmental or structural aspects of the workplace that may be contributing to reported issues
A greater understanding of underlying cultural influences (including generational differences) that result in varying approaches to the work
The addressing of “Moose on the Table” issues identified during the assessment phase (i.e. issues everyone knows are problematic but that are never discussed)
We should take the issue of harassment seriously, but not ourselves.
harassment and humor
We all struggle with difficult issues; we get uncomfortable and awkward, and using humor to shed light on our faults makes it easier to acknowledge them. It is an act of self compassion, and the antidote to tension, shame, anger, defensiveness, and guilt. That doesn't mean we just laugh and overlook staff’s shortcomings or egregious behaviors, it means acknowledging them in ways that promote change. It only hinders change when we make people feel like "bad people," and finding a way to address these issues with a light touch is a necessary tool if we want to change, grow and move forward together.
Research shows that informality and humor accelerate change much more effectively than dull, shaming lectures. “The contagious nature of humor naturally builds a sense of community by lowering defenses and bringing individuals together.” This is essential to getting staff on board when examining tough issues.
Harassment isn't funny, but our ineptness is.
The clumsy ways we deal with things that make us uncomfortable is universally funny, in that it’s something we never discuss or admit. Humor is a tool for making people realize how similar we are, and recognizing our similarities is the fundamental crux of generating empathy.