Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fish!

I just finished reading Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen. For those who have never heard of it, it’s a book based on the Fish! Philosophy—a 4 step method for boosting energy, enthusiasm, morale, and productivity in the workplace. We learned about Fish! from our new principal at school on the first day back after summer break. She showed us a video and we threw some fish (literally!).

Fish! is based on the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. The fishmongers there decided years ago to change their dreary, boring workplace into a fun place. Their method is simple:
  • Choose your attitude—You may not be able to choose the type of work that comes your way every day but you can choose how you react to it. It’s your choice to be bored or to shrug it off and have fun with it.

  • Play—You can be serious about what you do without taking yourself too seriously. Doesn’t everyone want to work somewhere that’s fun?

  • Make their day—It’s the simple concept of giving. Do something special for someone, doesn’t have to be a huge thing, just something that makes their day and makes them smile. Compliment them, give them a piece of chocolate or a word of encouragement.

  • Be present—Don’t read your emails while on the phone with someone who has a problem and who needs your help. Give them your attention. When you have something on your agenda but a friend needs to talk. Put down what you’re doing and listen to him. Don’t go through your whole day and not be engaged in what you’re doing.

I liked the book a lot. It is a fictional account that brings the Fish! philosophy to life and shows how it might work in application to a department that’s otherwise known as a “toxic energy dump.” The philosophy is simple and easy to understand.

I think with my job in technology, it’s easy to get caught up in one problem after another. I’m choosing a different attitude. I choose to have fun and look at each “problem” not as a problem but as an opportunity.

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