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4 unbelievably simple ways to build strong relationships
June 02, 2015

It is your choice

In the leadership development work that I do – I meet a lot of managers …

And whenever I meet a manager who lives and breathes the “FISH! Philosophy” – I invariably meet someone who has built strong relationships with his/her team members and customers.

How did all of these managers were able to build such strong relationships?

All they did was to learn – and then apply the “FISH! Philosophy”

For the uninitiated: John Christensen – with the assumption that most people like to work in an environment that is fun, energizing and where they can make a difference – created this philosophy in 1998 with the intention to boost morale and improve results.

There are already several companies that are implementing this philosophy. For example: The Sprint call center in Lenexa, Kansas, USA; the Rochester Ford Toyota in Rochester, Minnesota, USA; the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; etc.

This philosophy has four central, simple and interconnected practices:

  • Choose your attitude
  • Be present
  • Make someone’s day
  • Play at work

    Choose your attitude

    It is 100 per cent under your control the way you choose how you respond to life.

    When you accept that you choose your attitude – you will always have a choice about the way you do your work – even if you have no choice about the work itself.

    It is up to you to bring your best self to work – and to give your best to the work you do.

    Always ask yourself this simple question, “What is my attitude right now? Is it helping me to be my most effective?”

    Self-awareness is key.

    Be present

    This principle means that you take the time to “smell the roses,” that you allow life to have meaning for you – and that you are fully engaged in whatever it is that you are doing – in every moment – including your interactions with the people you work with.

    This principle means that – when you are with someone – you are focused and you are really listening (not making judgments or typing at the same time).

    Are you able to understand the other person and to really see the world from her perspective?

    Again – self-awareness is key.

    Make someone’s day

    Be inclusive – and give genuine and simple gestures of recognition to make people appreciated and valued.

    A simple smile might be enough – but remember – you must be genuine.

    You could even turn every encounter into a pleasant experience for someone else.

    Just keep it simple.

    Remember – every time you make someone else feel good – you feel good too.

    Once again – self-awareness is key.

    Play at work

    Take your work seriously – but take yourself lightly.

    Play is not about a specific activity – play is about your mindset.

    A playful attitude helps you shift your perspective, see new opportunities and expand your possibilities.

    Fun leads to creativity and resourcefulness.

    You will feel energized – and you will energize the people around you.

    And once again – self-awareness is key.


    It is your choice – it is up to you to decide how you want to work.

    Disclaimer: I have no relationship whatsoever with the people who promote the “FISH! Philosophy.” The only reason I am sharing it with you it is because I strongly believe you can benefit from it.

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    See you next month!
    Joseluis Romero - Publisher
    June 2, 2014. Copyright: All rights reserved
    I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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