Gamification the symbolism of gaming on steroids has transcended the years and normality range of Sega Genesis, Atari, the Wii’s, Xbox and now PlayStation. Just when we thought we had arrived, here comes yet another level in the technology (business) corridor that thrusts the average individual into the social gaming craze. Gamification is the act of gaining points, badges and levels upon successful completion of real life challenges. With a goal to make the gaming experience a personal one, it seems the industry has accomplished its mission. Once an ideal competition between two or four close encountered individuals, the gamification plateau has opened us up to bigger and better challenges within a self-manipulated virtual world.
As Gamification affects the individual, it too affects the family. For generations the family as a vital institution within society provided not only early stage nourishment but was the ultimate source of socialization. Today, that is not so as the gaming industry has grown bigger and more advanced. As a matter of fact, it no longer accentuates family time but has evolved to take the place of what once was quality time. In many ways it has become a babysitter for the all too busy parent, and the crutch for a fast paced society that (in my opinion) no longer promotes outdoor play for children. If we teach the family to exist within the virtual world, to spend more and more time in that virtual reality it makes it harder and harder (especially on our children’s impressionable minds) to distinguish what is real and what is not. What is the future of the family nucleus and can we win back the quality time we once knew?
Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc. predicted that by 2014, “an estimated 70 percent of the top 2,000 public companies in the world will have at least one gamified application. This strategy which has already began amongst such industry giants as Verizon and Samsung. The goal is to focus on creating such a highly personal experience for the customer while too building a community. The customers seem not to realize that they have not only given over their loyalty but have evolved into brand specific groupies. Not that this isn’t good for the businesses or for the entrepreneur who learn to use such tactics. It is evident those who provide excellent customer service with a little over the top adage are the ones who thrive in the business.
While gamification is trending less as a leisurely activity and more as the norm, it should not become the way of life. The way of life is reality, not what is built simply around our virtual imaginations, and deceitful optimism. Why? Because it is simply not real, we do not live in a game as some would suggest. We exist in a real world where real life happens and real decisions have to be made. Life is the existence of what we experience and how we handle that experience. To many simply put REAL Life happens.
The following topic “Hard on the Issue Soft on your people” in accordance with the individual, the family, the business environment and in conclusion, from a life’s perspective;
Being hard on the issue and soft on your people is easier said than done. Because we live on the cusp of individualism and are so inundated with everyday tasks, we tend to be surface dwellers. Anything that requires dealing with the issue or its root cause is simply not at all appealing. Instead we resort to the opposite, far from an empathetic heart. After all, the actual Issue isn’t a living, breathing, tangible thing but another person on whom we can project our emotions on is.In the long run the lack of willingness to address such issues (effectively) whether personal or publicly manifests in a mountain of prejudice and thus an un-fulfilled life.
There are so many instances within the family for which we can measure the impacts of being hard on the issue and soft on people. One instance that comes to mind is that of the training and development of children. In order to raise healthy well balanced children, a parent or caretaker should implement consistent discipline techniques along with setting clear unyielding boundaries. The idea is to promote the lack of tolerance for destructive behavior/issues while maintaining a show off empathy. During this process it enforces the no tolerance rule but emphasizes love and support. Thus promoting healthy living, healthy relationships, and healthy adult life. The family nucleus is indeed important and furthermore how we address Issues within the family. It can mean the difference between a functional and dysfunctional family in the next generation.
For many employees, managers, or business owners “be hard on the Issue and soft on your people” has already made its way into their managerial /staff discussions. We see this change echoed via the cultures nurtured in the corporate arena today. Through long hard transitions, reductions and workforce turnovers many corporations are promoting this concept. By doing so it promotes a team environment, fosters better work relations and motivates employees to not only be productive 90% of their day but develops loyalty to the business at hand. The trickle down affect proves that Leaders and Managers who focus more on the issues at hand while being soft/empathizing with their staff gain more respect. The overall result is a win-win for all and the bottom line results, in happy client, happy customer.
We live in a world where the importance of people skills transcends every element of daily living. From our own individual perceptions, to familial and corporate experiences, relationships are constantly either being built up or torn down. What we fail to put in proper perspective is the fact that human error plays a huge role in Life.
When proper perspective is applied then there should be emphasis placed both on addressing the issues at hand while too empathizing with the person. When handled with such a cohesive outlook, we promote a healthy balance and relationships are instead strengthened and a sense of mutual respect/bond developed. Then will we see a better developed individuals, a healthier family unit and stronger, longer lasting businesses.
According to Burley–Allen (1995) “a stroke is any form of recognition or attention one person gives to another. Strokes are either positive or negative, expressed through physical touch or nonverbal behaviors (i.e. winks, frowns, smiles, gestures). Strokes can also be compliments or criticisms”. (Burley–Allen, p. 26).
What an interesting approach to illustrating how we interact with one another. Not quite, what I had in mind before reading this text. However once read, it really struck home with me. All at once, I was able to see my reflection in the mirror.
My oldest daughter (who loves communicating) one day told me that she was reluctant to share certain things with me because the frown on my face automatically made her think that I was angry. Although I had explained to her several times that I am not angry, rarely have I thought to say “this intense look is me concentrating on what you’re saying to me, it is not an angry look at all”.
Just from this interaction with my daughter and a personal revelation of Self, I am constantly reminded to be attentive in my listening manner. I have come to know that my strokes affect all four of my children. It either hinders or enhances their ability to communicate not just with me but with others, which in-turn affects their overall self-esteem.
Since becoming aware of Self, I have had several opportunities to practice this technique by stopping to face my children, looking them directly in the eyes and in some situations turning the frown upside down. By doing this, I am practicing positive stokes and at the same time teaching them how to be better communicators themselves.
In my profession and observation of family relationships, I have come to believe that “Children really do what they see and not what they are told”. I am convinced that my children’s future really does begin with my daily revelation of self therefore my prayer is;
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
(Excerpts from the Serenity Prayer, Author Unknown)
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening The Forgotten Skill A Self Teaching Guide.New York Chicester Brisbane Toronto Singapore: Joyhn Wiley & Sons, Inc.