@eggrole via flickr
Many of us who have worked in organizations have participated in the FISH! Philosophy training program. It’s the story and shared philosophy of the Pike Place Fish Market and how the management and workers there turned their drab, arduous jobs into something fun and enjoyable for themselves and their customers.
I could readily identify with their values of “play,” “make their day,” “be there,” and “choose your attitude,” but there was something that I felt was glossed over when I was taught it: the invitation.
Everyone who works at Pike Place was taught about the culture of the business: an intentional, employee-centered, customer-focused culture. But beyond being given an intense background into what they wanted to do and why, every worker was offered an invitation: are you in, or are you not?
Because to be in was to be all in: they weren’t looking for workers to half-ass it or who were going to sabotage what they were trying to create.
Also, being offered an invitation creates investment and empowerment. They aren’t there because they have to be: they’re there because they want to be. It’s a responsibility to maintain the culture and create an experience that customers (and themselves) will want to come back for over and over again.
Coaching works the same way. All of my clients are invited into coaching, and I do my best to be clear about what it is and its expectations so that we’re both on the same page. Coaching cannot work without accepting the invitation.
Whether you are creating a world-famous fish market or creating an exemplary life, don’t forget the importance of accepting the invitation.