Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red Rover, Red Rover

Playground, the very word conjures up memories of childhood; memories of fresh air and sunshine, of tag and kickball. 

I was in grade school in the late 50s and early 60s when children played with minimal supervision. They were allowed to explore and experiment without the interference of overprotective parents and school administrators worried about litigation. 

Back then, we played interesting and almost savage games at recess. While reminiscing, the game that came to mind was Red Rover. On the surface it is an easy game with two opposing teams lining up opposite each other about 25 to 30 feet apart. You demonstrate team work and solidarity by holding hands and forming a human chain. One team then persuades/taunts the opposing team to launch a player across the gap. They call by name by yelling “Red Rover, Red Rover let …come over!” The chosen one tries to break the chain by bodily slamming into the arms of the opponents.  The challenged teammate runs into the fray and either gets the wind knocked out of him/her and must stay on that team or breaks the chain, thus claiming championship over that team.

Is your workplace like a game of Red Rover? Do you invite someone to come to your team only to knock the wind out of them? Do you ever run headlong into the barriers presented by another “team” in your organization?


  1. I love the metaphor! We also played Dodgeball...I'm pretty sure that one is outlawed, but you bring up a great point about referring it to work. I'd like to say our team is an accepting team!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Corianne. Can you imagine a work environment that is not accepting? What would that feel like to go to work each day? Promoting team work is a valuable workplace skill.