Leap Year Lesson #60: Wear a Costume to Discover Reality

Posted: March 1, 2012 in Perceptions
Tags: , , ,

I am the community manager for my company’s internal social network called Buzz. It has a fun, informal, bee-oriented theme in its branding. Occasionally I dress up in a bee costume and go to various floors of different buildings in our downtown Louisville locations to promote awareness and use of the network.

Today a coworker and I manned an information booth for Buzz at an expo hall for a conference of learning professionals within the company. It was time to break out the bee costume again.

It’s amazing what you can get away with when wearing a bee (or any) costume. It’s fun to watch the reactions of others who aren’t expecting it, like the guy who walked in the elevator and saw me and tried to act like nothing was out of the ordinary. We exchanged greetings and went on our way. When walking past a conference room of suits, seeing who would look and how they would react was interesting. Most didn’t react. I suppose it wouldn’t be “professional,” whatever that is.

At the expo hall, the conference participants were fun as expected. Some wanted pictures with me. Others said they admired me for wearing it. Some just looked and laughed.

Wearing such a costume – especially in an unexpected place – gives me the opportunity to see a side of people that I would not otherwise see. It shows me which ones like to have a little fun and which ones are so straight-laced that they appear afraid to break out of the corporate mold.

Wearing the costume also gives me the opportunity to learn a little more about myself as well. Put an introvert in a costume and turn him loose and suddenly there is a part of one’s character that is allowed to come out in ways typically repressed.

I wonder what imaginary costumes or masks we wear daily and how they impact our behavior and that of others around us?

Have some fun. Buy a costume. Wear it in public. See how others react and how you behave different than usual. You may learn about others and yourself.

Leap year lesson #60 is Wear a costume to discover reality.

  1. Chuck Stephens says:

    Nicely done! I’m totally psyched to be working with you again! 🙂

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