When I first told my wife about the Battle of the Bands program, her reaction was skeptical. She took piano lessons for years, but doesn’t like to perform. When my wife attended the Battle of the Bands event with me last year in NYC, her reaction was unremitting jealousy.
“Your company did all of THIS for BoB?!” she asked, eying the (then) M5-branded Terminal 5 in disbelief.
“Sure did,” I responded, hooking my thumbs into my belt loops and rocking on my heels casually, as if I owned the place.
Silence from my wife. Then she muttered, her voice barely audible, “my job would never do this kind of thing…”
That’s been my experience when telling others about BoB. Some are initially turned off by the thought of having to perform for coworkers, but all agree that it is pretty darned cool. It’s a point of pride working for a company that not only supplements the cost of music lessons to foster a learning culture but also lavishly celebrates the musical performances that ensue. As a member of the Learning team I appreciate the reasoning behind this more than once, as training and transferring knowledge is my daily bread. I enjoy my voice lessons and look forward to my first band lesson, but I also appreciate the way Shoretel has made learning fun.
Time and again research has shown that the human mind learns far more efficiently if it is actively enjoying the experience. The more we can view personal growth as fun, the more we grow. BoB helps to bridge this connection synaptically, so that on a base level our minds start to associate learning with fun and vice-versa. I’ve experienced similar things with improv- my willingness to accept challenges, no matter how outside of my wheelhouse they lie, has directly increased with my training in improvisational comedy performance.
So I enjoy the jealousy. How many people get to say that they are learning to sing at their job?!