Gone Fishin’

This week I am recounting four principles of the workplace that come from a very unlikely source. Can we apply the principles that they made famous to the fire service.

The folks at Pike’s Seafood in Seattle WA. These folks at the local fish market did some remarkable things in their own small fish business that have not only made them famous, but have led them to become speakers for major corporations on how to improve the workplace and morale.

Since morale always seems to be an issue in the fire service I feel that we can apply these basic principles to us! Here goes:

Principle # 1 – Play!

Now I fully understand there is no room for horseplay at an emergency scene, I do believe that people should be able to have safe reasonable fun at work, while maintaining productivity. If your personnel want to come to work and genuinely have fun, then that attitude will show when they contact other firefighters, and members of the public.

Principle # 2 – Make Their Day !

It should be your prupose to attempt to “make the day” of all those you contact. This also includes co-workers, and members of the public. In our profession it is very difficult to make someone’s day after some terrible circumstance such as a fire and or medical emergency. Now, while these are difficult, they should be our goal. In addition, there are many folks we meet in the course of a day, during a routine non-emergency transport, fire inspection, and other contacts where this works just fine. Would’nt it be nice if people looked forward to dealing with you as opposed to dreading having to talk with you.

Principle # 3 – Be There

Really connect and be present when you deal with others. Be an active participant, team player, that everyone knows “is there.” We have all spoken to people who appear that they are merely existing, and we seem to be bothering by our very presence. Be present, enthusiastic, and a valuable member of the team!

Principle # 4 – Choose Your Attitude

I saved the best and most important for last. Each morning before work, choose the attitude that you will present to others for that day. While life’s circumstances effect us all, choosing the attitude you present to others, is solely your responsibility. Attitudes are contagious as well. If all we do is sit around and complain, then those around us will complain, and pretty soon we say, “see everybody feels that way, it’s not just me”. The question is, did it start with you? Wouldn’t you like to be the cause of positive morale and good performance on your job?

Don’t blame anyone else for your attitude.

For four guys in a fish market these four principles really make some sense, huh?

There is a book called FISH that you may want to pick up that further explains this whole concept in much greater detail, and there is a web site also called Fishphilosophy.

Check it out, and then you will know why I am now “gone fishin” for a new way of doing business!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013