Building Wellbeing Blog

Wellbeing and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®; could the process be just as beneficial as the topic?

Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

Over the last few years I have run workshops on wellbeing using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Feedback from participants has frequently suggested that as well as the discussions about wellbeing being useful, they actually find the process of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® beneficial to the their wellbeing as well. 

This suggestion that there might be something inherently good for our wellbeing in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® came to my attention again recently when I was invited to give a presentation to the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Global Community Meeting at the home of LEGO® in Billund Denmark in October 2020. While I was preparing for the presentation, I found the ‘five ways to better wellbeing’, which are recommended by Mind and the NHS.

  • Connect
  • Learn
  • Give
  • Take notice
  • Be active

It occurred to me that LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® meets four of the five, which might explain why people find that both the task and the process help their wellbeing. 

But before looking at the five ways to better wellbeing and the connection with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® it is worth knowing that LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® isn’t just playing with LEGO® bricks or even just learning with LEGO® bricks, it is a globally recognised facilitation methodology based on decades of development that is used by some of the largest businesses in the world and endorsed by Harvard Business School as a methodology to promote active engagement (or ‘leaning in’).

You can read more in detail about how LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® works in another of my posts, but to summarise, in every step of a workshop there is a core process followed:

  1. Facilitator poses question to participants
  2. Participants build their answer with LEGO® bricks
  3. Participants use their model to explain their answer to the other participants
  4. The group reflects on the answers

The questions asked are deliberately open to interpretation and searching for intangible answers, which is why everyone’s answers are unique and personal, and cannot be wrong. The process of building helps them to find and unlock things that they didn’t know that they knew, and brings clarity in their thinking and how they communicate it. It also brings parity as everyone is given equal chance to explain their answer to the question using their model, without interruption but with chance for open questions that are about the model and not the participant.

  • The question and construction step helps the participants to TAKE NOTICE of what they know as they build in silence, focussing on only their own thoughts.
  • The honesty and openness of answers combined with the depth of listening allows participants to CONNECT with each other, whilst LEARNING about themselves and each other.
  • The process of the facilitated explanations and active listening means that participants GIVE their time and attention to each other.

So whether or not the topic of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop is wellbeing, you can be certain that the wellbeing of the participants is being boosted just by taking part in a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop.

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