Steve Gross- How Joy and Optimism Ignite the Best in Us – IMEX Podcast
Mike McAllen sits down with Steve Gross and talked about his upcoming keynote at IMEX America. Steve is serious about play—and its tremendous benefits for people and the organizations where they work. He also works for the Life is Good Kids Foundation, a nonprofit that uses play to help children overcome life-threatening challenges such as violence, illness and severe poverty.
A recognized expert in utilizing joyful play to promote resiliency in children, he has extended those insights to adults, reconnecting them to their playful selves and enabling them to function at their best. Learn how you can use playfulness to energize individuals, teams and organizations, and help them reach their full potential.
Check out Steve at IMEX America
Monday, October 13, 2014
Time: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Mike: Welcome back to the Meetings Podcast, this is Mike McAllen and welcome back to another IMEX Podcast and today we are lucky enough to have keynoter at IMEX-Steve Gross. Hi Steve!
Steve: What is going on Mike?
Mike: Thank you for connecting with me.
Steve: My pleasure men.
Mike: Yeah I know it is always fun getting hooked up to these things this crazy internet world we are living in now.
Steve: I love it, sounds like you are right next to me.
Mike: So, tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what they should expect at IMEX.
Steve: Alright, a little bit about myself, my name is Steve Gross from Boston, Massachusetts; I have the privilege of being the Chief playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation and as chief playmaker our work in the world is really about creating environments where children can grow up feeling safe, feeling loved and feeling joyful, especially kids whose lives have been rather difficult as they struggle through exposure to violence, poverty and illness.
Mike: Very cool, so what are you going to be talking about at IMEX?
Steve: I am going to be talking about things that I think at the surface might sound kind of light and fluffy but I really believe they are everything but things like joy and love and community, connection, creativity, inspiration, really all of these powerful things that bring out our deepest sense of humanity and really about how you tap into these components that all kind of make up a human being sense of playfulness in the world and how you use these super powers in essence to really reach your full potential and to live the best life possible for yourself.
Mike: That sounds really important especially this kind of day and age as we said about the internet all you kind of see is the negative stuff going on in the world.
Steve: Well, it is funny you know somehow the negative stuff and you know my background I am a Clinical Social Worker and I have done a lot of work in the field of trauma and so when I used to travel around the country and talk to professionals about trauma, people thought I was pretty smart because you are talking about something really important and the neurophysiology of trauma. When we changed the perspective of the presentation so that we were really talking about the things that helped children overcome trauma, and started to talk about things like joy, love, peace and creativity, well then people think you smoke a lot of weed it is like somehow that if you are talking about something like trauma or you are addressing the problem, it sounds real, when you start looking at the human things that are really imperative to the solution, it sounds like fluff but I assure you I am not smoking a lot of weed, and I found as a clinical social worker I had been much more effective when I approach clients and systems from a perspective and a lens of joy, connection, community, empowerment and creativity as opposed to looking at the community from a position of trauma and loss and dysfunction.
Mike: Yeah, what a healthier way to look at it too.
Steve: Yeah I think so, and I think one of the things that is really important is the new ones but it isn’t about ignoring that the problems exist, it isn’t ignoring that the trauma exist, it is that what you pay attention to grows, and so if you are constantly looking at an issue or a crisis or a problem strictly from the problem and not from the solution perspective, the problem tends to weigh you down with the solution tends to open you up to possibilities.
Mike: Let me ask you; so what should somebody who attends your sessions, what are you hoping they are coming away with when they walk out that door?
Steve: You know what I am hoping is that people come away with a lot of what I hope is about a sense of discovery and discovery meaning discovering things that are already part of you that you already knew but maybe they have been covered up. Discovery is never about finding something that is outside of you so I think having a really good conversation that folks that attend find relevant and meaningful and things that they can kind of use right away to improve the quality of their lives. And I never separate life you know professional, personal like you know it is all part of your life. You get one life and some of that life you spend it at work, some of that life you spend it at home but I really just hope that the conversation is meaningful and really applicable to everyone who attends and I believe that it is. And so I know we will have a good time, I hope we will have some laughs and I hope there will be some good learning that takes place.
Mike: That is awesome, okay so well I guess I will see you at IMEX then I am looking forward to meeting you in person.