(Replay) The Power of Play with Otto Siegal

Listen to the episode right here.

Otto Siegel is a Genius Coach and Owner/CEO of Genius Coaching in Scottsdale. He partners with brilliant and sensitive children and their families to help them overcome behavioral challenges and anxiety symptoms. He provides a highly innovative program called Parent Playtime and started to offer the program as Power of Play (POP) to company leaders and their teams.

Otto’s approach is informed by his 17 years as a high school teacher in Munich and Educational Consultant for the German Government in Sao Paulo/BR. His unique behavioral approach in coaching is based on proven principles from neurobiology, the physiology of the human body, positive psychology, educational kinesiology and behavior science (ethology).

He combines the power of play with professional coaching as a transformational force and initiates lasting behavior upgrades in his clients by activating their most powerful intrinsic motivator: Joy and playfulness.

Podcast Highlights

Who is Otto Siegal? 

Otto was born in Munich and was a highschool teacher in his previous life. It was until much later in his life did Otto find his true calling in life: to bring out genius in everybody. Otto’s genius lies in biology and the innate brilliance in everyone.

Once the Covid pandemic hit, Otto was contacted by an organization that wanted him to give a talk at their conference. He landed on the topic of joy, and that led him to look for ways to teach joy.

Joy, in the world of leadership, is more powerful than willpower. We are born with an innate ability to play, with the purpose of connection. Otto has been teaching others how to feel joy with the Power of Play program. Genius, brilliance, and leadership are all enhanced by play.

The Power of Play

As we play, we relax. When we relax we go deeper and bypass your conscious mind enabling you to go direct to intuition. Intuition and imagination run the show, they direct the intellect on what to think.

Spreadsheets and powerpoints are wonderful for the left brain. Activating the right brain is done with powerful interactions which play facilitates excellently. Learning as a mental tool requires up to 400 repetitions to create new neural pathways. If you include play, it takes 4. Play based learning is 100 times more powerful than traditional learning.

The first step in every single interaction is to move your body. Using your body in playful ways before having a conversation helps get your brain and body engaged.

Parents often forget how to play. Lack of play is a cause for violence so Otto often recommends parents to allow their children to teach them how to play again.

Lego is a favorite tool that Otto uses all the time when he’s coaching clients and parents. Putting thoughts into a physical three dimensional shape opens creativity and imagination very effectively. Play releases the ability for people to be innovative and accelerates the process.

Play shapes the brain and invigorates the soul.

Play is Faster Than Talk

Otto recently worked with an executive team to plan for 2022. He gave them lego boxes and told them to build their vision for 2022 in 10 minutes. When they were finished, he had each person walk around the creations to see everyone’s ideas from a different perspective.

The interpretation of the process is symbolically powerful in a way that can’t happen with a simple conversation. Play levels the playing field and creates an opportunity to get more diverse perspectives.

Joy as it Relates to Stress

Joy is the reverse of stress. Joy and play are the best solutions to feeling stressed and you can’t talk yourself out of stress. Most of the stress people feel right now is based in the fear of the unknown and it manifests in different physical ways. It can feel like tense shoulders, brain fog, and more and it prevents you from being open and receptive to learning.

When you eliminate the physiological sources of stress and are no longer struggling for survival, play is how you unlock joy. 

If you are an executive in a company and are seeing people leave that you aren’t expecting to leave or looking to work more from home, the reality is they are looking for more joy. If you can create an environment where people look forward to coming to work you can completely change the whole dynamic. Starting with a pilot program for integrating play into the workplace is the beginning. Joy is contagious.

We all have challenges, but how we approach them makes all the difference in the world.






Joy Inc