Kinesthetic Enhancers

Lori Copan, Research Scientist, California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

 

What’s on your desk right now that you’ve fiddled with today? It’s okay, we all do it. And our experience suggests that all those paper clips, squeeze balls and clicking pens could be helping us to pay attention to our work. I often open meetings with a box of these “enhancers,” to get people ready to focus and collaborate. Each box contains pipe cleaners, playdough, doodling pads, squeeze balls, and other items from the dollar store. When toys are combined with other environmental strategies like healthy snacks and name tents that folks can decorate themselves, we can usually establish a safe and conducive climate for creative, authentic, and deep discussions. Encouraging doodling and fiddling might seem a bit cheesy, but we are discovering that when people engage in what feels like child’s play, they are more focused, clear-thinking, and collaborative. Research confirms this, at least as far as the doodling element. And I like to think that the value of kinesthetic enhancers extends further than just establishing a relaxed atmosphere—they can promote greater creativity and innovation in meeting specific meeting outcomes.

Melinda Booth, Film Festival Director, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
Melinda Booth, Film Festival Director, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)

Creative use of Kinesthetic Enhancers with a Photolanguage image in the background
Creative use of Kinesthetic Enhancers with a Photolanguage image in the background

Gary Reedy, Senior River Scientist, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
Gary Reedy, Senior River Scientist, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
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