In preparation for my holiday vacation, I borrowed some books from Matt.  So, on Sunday, after my 16th annual Buffalo Bills-being-all-but-mathematically-eliminated-from-the-NFL playoffs viewing, I started and finished the first one.  It was “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results,” and it tells the story of how a routine, seemingly dead-end-job of a department at a bank completely changed the culture of their workplace by emulating (of all things) a fish market.

The book details how the manager of this bank’s department, desperate to change her team’s culture and reputation, studied how Seattle’s world famous Pike Place Fish Market chose to become not only a great place to work, but a great experience for all of their customers anytime they are there.  You can imagine that working in a cool and rainy climate like Seattle, coupled with the handling fish could easily become a tiresome, dreary job.  However, the people at Pike Place CHOOSE to make it a fun and energetic place to work.  They recognized that everyone has the power to choose what attitude they want to bring into the workplace, and those who are unhappy or bored in their jobs have chosen to be so.  They also understand that a vital element of enjoying any job is to make it fun for themselves and for those that they interact with.

The goal they have with every customer they see is to “Make Their Day.”  By coincidence, I actually got to hear a speaker at this year’s ACA Convention who was affiliated with the Pike Place Fish Market, and he illustrated this very point by saying that they treat every customer as though they are a celebrity.  They do this by “Being Present”, and totally engaged with their customers.  When you think about how often we multi task when speaking to co-workers, clients, and consumers (or even at home with our loved ones), can you imagine if you actually met your favorite celebrity and in the midst of conversing with them, checked your text messages or voicemail?

Think of how annoyed you’d be, or have been, if the salesperson you are buying something from took a personal call in the middle of a transaction.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in creating more fun and positive energy into their lives at work and home, as well as anyone looking to improve the way that they communicate to their customers.  Not to mention, I know someone who’d be willing to let you borrow his copy…   Thanks Matt for such a great recommendation!