Work is not always fun. There, I said it. For many people, up to more than half of all their time at work is not fun (or worse). In a whole career, that adds up to at least two decades of full-time not fun! Not a pretty sight, such neglect of such a potential to enjoy your life. Okay, maybe the work activities are intrinsically not that much fun. But people and interactions can be – that is what also gives the fun outside of work! Point is that if the work activities are of a serious (or: not fun) nature, people mistakenly treat each other in that same way. Stop doing that. Start doing everybody a favor and improve the joy of interactions. Stephan Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen wrote a book with 4 guidelines about this: FISH! Here we go.
1. Develop an enthusiast attitude
This is well possible if you are open to it. Millions of happy self-help-book readers confirm it. Some would say that this would be an artificial or fake move. Those do not yet get the point.
2. Bring fun and play in interactions
Most people are holding back themselves, and would actually like to see somebody who makes things more lively and in fact human. Become the front runner of joy (do mind a bit where you are).
3. Make people feel seen and liked
If you can genuinely give people that feeling, they not only have a tendency to willingly accept what you do and cooperate, but also they mimic your behavior, so the joy literally spreads.
4. Run the extra mile with dedication
All of the above is hard to sustain if you turn out a slacker. Do your job not only with flair, but also with the quality that makes people happy. This will also grant you additional space for more fun.
Laughing at whose expense?
So, we’ve got the picture (and instructions). But should employers want a work place where joy is actively pursued? Well, yes. People who feel good at work can be more productive, less absent or complaining, and will stay longer with the company. They can bring more joy to co-workers, clients, and other stakeholders, possibly even adding up to better financials. Can it become a bit too much? Sure. But the 4 guidelines do not steer to madness anarchy. If you feel a need to cut it down, keep seeing who will laugh last.
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