I am very lucky to work with a wonderful team of people at my place of employment.  We have mutual respect for each other and deal with issues openly and honestly.  We attended a workshop recently and the facilitator had never met any of us previously, but commented on the positive energy and dynamics we had as a group.  We had no idea, but we were already practicing what she was presenting to us - the FISH philosophy.

If you are not familiar with it, the FISH philosophy originated at a fish market in Seattle, Washington called Pike Place Fish Market.  This company has been around since 1965, however, in 1986 they were facing bankruptcy and needed to make some changes.  Now they are a world known market and tourist attraction where thousands of tourists visit each month.

What they did to turn their business around  was adopt four very simple principles:

Be There: Be there for your customers, staff, or family members.  Give them your full attention.  Listen to what they have to say.  When people need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be fully present is a sign of respect. It improves communication and strengthens relationships.

Play:  We spend most of our adult lives working, so why not make it a place that you enjoy.  This doesn’t mean playing and not doing your work, but having fun while you do your work.  Telling jokes, laughing, games and socializing are ways that we can have fun.  When you enjoy being there you are much more productive and creative.  At Pikes Place Fish Market they literally throw fish at each other and let the customers have a turn as well.  What better way to make a smelly, messy place of work more enjoyable?  How can you apply this in your family life?  Do you save time for play during your day?

Make Their Day: Simple gestures of thoughtfulness, thanks and recognition make people feel appreciated and valued. When you make someone else feel good, you feel good too.  Set a goal to make at least one person’s day, every day, and it will make your day better as well.  A simple “thank you” or “you did a great job” goes a long way.

Choose Your Attitude: We have the ability to choose our attitudes every moment of every day.   You can decide who you want to "be" today.  Is it helping the people who depend on you? Is it helping you to be most effective?"  Are you positively impacting your team or hindering them?

One more principle I would like to add that is not part of the FISH philosophy  is always look for a win-win in every situation.  Rather than running your business from a competitive nature, why not do it from a collaborative one?  I am not talking about compromise here because when you compromise, you do not receive all that you desire, but when you do it from a win-win where both sides get what they want, then your business and personal relationships will flourish.

The FISH Philosophy helps build stronger relationships with the team members we work with, the customers we serve, the students we teach and the people we love.


Carla ;)


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