FISH Philosophy: At Work, and At Home

Just finished reading “FISH Philosophy” the book and so great it was. It’s a tiny book (two hours of focused read would do) that talks about how to transform your work place (or even your life) into a fun place to enjoy and be excited to come to again and again.

I don’t want to talk about the great story in the book, and the details of how a fish market ignited the idea – hence the name FISH – for a manager to transform her workplace, as I want to encourage you to get it and read it.

The philosophy is simple, and goes by applying four ingredients that will turn the place from stress and dullness into relax and fun. The ingredients of FISH philosophy are as follows:

  1. Choose your attitude
  2. Play
  3. Make their day
  4. Be there

1| Choose Your Attitude

This is the platform to build upon, and the core concept that everything else depends on. You have the freedom of choice of your attitude: an optimistic and happy attitude, or a pessimistic and sad one. Choose to be happy, smiling, easy going, ignorant of mistakes, and you’ll discover how beautiful and shining you and your place would be. On the other hand, choose to be angry, frowning, hard-headed, picky on mistakes, isolated, and you’ll discover how miserable your day would be!
“Choose your attitude” is the hardest ingredients, but sets the stage for all other ingredients to happen. So work on your attitude, and work on it now.

2| Play

Have fun, even if you have lot’s to do with deadlines nearing, and don’t seem to have enough in your schedule. All that stress come from the fact that you prevent yourself from enjoying what you do. Make it a playful project, an enjoyable study, an easy shopping, a fun meeting, etc. If you cannot enjoy what you do, then try to have some pleasant moments between the heavy tasks you work on. Engage with colleagues or family to create a play yard out of your place.

3| Make Their Day

By having fun yourself, work on extending that to others who surround you. Make their day by expressing how you’re grateful to have them, or by cheering them up. Get them out of their misery by offering advice and help. You cannot imagine how cheerful you would be when giving a hand to someone.

4| Be There

Be present to your family, customers, colleagues, and people by giving full attention to who calls for you to advice or help. Don’t be ignorant to those calls… get to answer them on the spot, or at least dedicate some time to connect with those you care about to listen to. Ignoring a call for help from your wife, your son, a colleague, or a customer could yield to disappointments and sometimes problems that you could’ve avoided earlier.

Applying FISH to your life

I actually believe in the importance of these ingredients to have better place whether at home or at work, and below are some ideas I’m thinking of to practice those in my life (both at home and at work):

Choose your attitude

At Home and at Work

  • Be happy, smiling, and open-minded, soft, easy going, ignorant to small acts or mistakes.
  • Spell out the good thoughts, and ignore the bad ones.
  • Say hi or salam to everyone you face!

At Home

  • Educate by fun, and stop yelling.
  • Make the shopping a learning experience for your child where he or she looks for the stuff and picks them up.
  • Enjoy home fixes.
  • Watch cartoons with your child while commenting.

At Work

  • Start your meetings with fun or jokes
  • Post some funny pictures or comics to your desk, or common places
  • Have a board so employees can post some jokes
  • Have a gaming console and work on a gaming competition
Make their day

At Home

  • Compliments, Compliments, Compliments.
  • Bring your wife some flowers.
  • Invite the family to a day out (I really mean the invite here, and not like … we’re bored, let’s go out).
  • Bring your child something he or she likes (candy for instance).

At Work

  • Compliment the work and attitude of your colleagues.
  • Engage with customers and pinpoint their pains and offer solutions with what they already have.
  • Avoid bad news, and be a passenger of the good ones!
Be there

At Home

  • Listen to your wife and don’t offer solutions, just listen (we all can hear, you need to listen!).
  • Have a conversation with your child on school or how others deal with him.
  • Listen to the unsaid, and express your willingness to offer help if needed.

At Work

  • Listen to pains from colleagues and customers and offer solutions
  • Stop emails and phone calls if someone calls for your advice
  • Give full attention when talking to your colleagues or customers
  • Not all people are comfortable talking about their problems, so dig deep within the soles and look for faces that need help.

Remember to work hard on setting the stage by choosing the right attitude!