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Work Works Best When Work Becomes Play

In Impact Learning's train­ing and con­sult­ing work, we talk a lot about the con­cept of "tran­scen­dence," which of course can mean many things: chal­leng­ing your­self to expand your capa­bil­i­ties; going above and beyond expec­ta­tions; con­tin­u­ally striv­ing to improve; and learn­ing to gen­uinely enjoy work (even the hard stuff).

I think the lat­ter point is espe­cially easy to accom­plish for peo­ple in the cus­tomer ser­vice field. That's because cus­tomer ser­vice, as chal­leng­ing as it some­times can be, is an intrin­si­cally reward­ing pro­fes­sion. Sim­ply put, it feels good to be of ser­vice to peo­ple, whether that means sell­ing them shoes, answer­ing their billing ques­tions, or fix­ing their wash­ing machines.

I saw a 2-minute video yes­ter­day that reminded me—without even a sin­gle word—just how enjoy­able an every­day trans­ac­tion can be for both the cus­tomer and the ser­vice provider. Stay tuned; I'm going to give you the link so you can see it for your­self. But first I want to say a lit­tle more about it…

ice cream2 Work Works Best When Work Becomes PlayWhen you think about the job of an ice cream ven­dor, what comes to mind? Prob­a­bly the sim­ple, menial, repet­i­tive task of scoop­ing out a frozen treat and hand­ing it over the counter. Well, here's one ice cream ven­dor who far tran­scends that mun­dane task and com­pletely ele­vates the expe­ri­ence for him­self, for the cus­tomer and for the crowd gath­ered round.

Part illu­sion­ist, part hawker, and part mime, the Turk­ish ven­dor has found a way to trans­form the daily grind into a story of fun, sur­prise, and human con­nec­tion.  I don't know how good the ice cream tasted, but I'm sure the cus­tomer will remem­ber the expe­ri­ence for a long time to come.

OK, so here's the link. The video is avail­able on YouTube, but I found it at www.positivesharing.com (if you don't see it right away, search for "ice cream"). This web­site fea­tures a series called Fri­day Spo­ing, a weekly dose of fun, brief, quirky videos so I sug­gest you find it there.

Enjoy–and don't for­get to bring a lit­tle play­ful tran­scen­dence into your own work!

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