Communicating Without Saying A Word


Whether you’re unemployed and looking for a job or employed, your non-verbal body language is sending out all kinds of information to those within eyesight. What message you’re sending is entirely up to you of course; but pay no attention to ensuring the message you’re sending is the one you want to communicate and your lack of attention to this could harm you in ways you haven’t considered.

Even noticed the difference in how people move when walking? If you’re looking for a low-key but profitable way to spend your lunch hour, sit down with your lunch in a public space and people watch. Follow several passersby’s with your eyes – not just the handsome or cute ones! – and as you do so, be aware of the assumptions you’re making. When you see someone ambling along at a leisurely pace, their hands in their pockets, how do you perceive them? They don’t seem in a hurry to be anywhere.

Contrast the above with the person you see enter your view who is moving at an accelerated pace compared to others around them. They are walking briskly with one arm swinging at their side and the other clutching something that could be a document folder. Their head is up as they walk, looking for the clearest path in front of them, their eyes focused on what’s ahead of them. Again, what’s your brain communicating to you about them with little else to go on?

Did you assign a gender to either of the two examples above? Did you picture the first one with hand in their pockets to be dressed down from the second one hustling from point A to point B? Did you see the first person as enjoying the sunshine, making the most of their personal time on their lunch hour? Of the second, did you picture them still on the clock, obviously not on their lunch even though you’re on yours? Did the brisk walker seem to move with purpose while the ambling, leisurely movement of the first suggest at the moment they were in control of their time and what to do with it?

How you move says a lot to others who likewise make inferences about what you’re doing, your level of activity, the urgency or lack of it in how you’re going about things at the moment.

Now earlier I’d said jokingly that you should look at all people not just the handsome or cute ones. Think on that now though; what is it about how people dress, the way they move, the attention or lack of it that they take to their personal grooming, their facial expressions, etc., that attracts us to them? When we find ourselves drawn to someone do we sometimes also give them positive attributes and think positively about them before they’ve even uttered a word? Similarly, if we find ourselves disinterested or even negatively affected by someone on first sight, do we likewise perceive them negatively before they’ve opened their mouth to speak?

Our body language communicates much about us. We can seem dominant, defiant, submissive, reclusive, introverted, outrageously confident and non-conformist etc. In the clothes we wear, the tattoos and body piercings we may or may not have on display, the attention we put into our makeup, hairstyles, shoes on our feet etc.; everything about us communicates to others.

So all of this is important to acknowledge and understand when it comes to those times in our lives when making impressions on others is important to us. The job interview, meeting the potential in-laws, the date on Saturday night, your appearance in court, your friend’s wedding, the prom, spiritual gatherings, lounging at the golf club or yoga studio; we never stop communicating to others and all of it non-verbal.

The good news of course is that with some thought and attention, we are largely in control of the non-verbal communication we send out, hopeful that it is received by others in the way that is consistent with our intended message. Are you going for, ‘confident’, ‘professional’, ‘casually comfortable and relaxed’? Sometimes of course you may be told in advance how to dress. An invitation to a party might say that formal wear is in or the person setting up the interview over the phone might tell you that business casual is expected.

The best time to put some thought into your clothing and the image you want to communicate to others through your body language is always the same – now! When you know the kind of work you are interested in, you can safely predict with a high degree of accuracy the kind of clothing you’d like for a future interview. Now might be the best time then to get out and get that clothing together while you’re relaxed and not distracted with the pressure and stress of preparing for an actual one in a couple of days.

Be it a skirt or dress, formal suit, shirt and tie, getting things now – or at the very least budgeting now to acquire these items as you can afford them, will pay off when you go to the closet and they are there at the ready.

Remember, you’re in full control of the messages you communicate to others simply by entering their visual proximity. Best to make sure you give some thought now to how you want to be perceived.

 

No Applications? No Interviews. No Job. Simple.


The best way to get a 100% guarantee that employers will continue to reject and decline to offer you interviews is to stop applying for jobs altogether. Do this and you’ll be done with frustration, stress and the cycle of applying with hope only to taste the acrid bitterness of rejection; then to reapply again with optimism etc. Yes, give it up now and escape from voluntarily setting yourself up for ongoing disappointment.

Of course if you follow that opening advice, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands. Time that initially will seem like a wave of relief washing over you. After all, no more scouring the internet and job boards for minimum wage, entry-level jobs. No more fruitless networking meetings, resumes to tailor to specific jobs, no more need for LinkedIn; the freedom to post online whoever you are, whatever you want without a thought or care about who sees what. No more emails to send, nor the need to be checking your phone for possible invitations that never come. What a relief indeed!

The downside of course is that all this free time doesn’t exactly stop your brain from wandering back to thoughts of employment. Without a job or even looking for one, you’ve got about 7 hours a day, 35 hours a week, 140 hours a month etc. that you wouldn’t have if you were working. How many of those hours are you going to fill productively doing other things? Reading, traveling, exercising, watching television, fixing things around the home; all good in their own way, but for how long are these things going to keep bringing you the happiness they do now?

The most obvious stress for many is where does the money materialize from to allow you to keep living where you do now? There’s the rent or mortgage, food, utilities, repairs, transit, clothing, your morning jolt of caffeine. What about entertainment, unexpected expenses, illnesses, new glasses, dental visits, prescriptions, the virus protection on the laptop that needs renewing? Just a small list… So you start getting frugal if you haven’t already; thinking strategically about what you can do without; what you’re willing to sacrifice. That gets stressful after awhile doesn’t it? I mean, saying you’ll do without item B because you won’t give up item A only to find that in two month’s time your ‘must have’ item A is something you have to part with to keep item C. This is living?

Sometimes all these decisions just seem overwhelming right? Sure they do. This is when some people turn to self-medication which never really seems to have much of a lasting affect. Oh for a while they shift your thinking and provide short-term relief. In the long-run however the medications wear off and you’re back dealing with the original thoughts and you’ve added the lower self-worth and need for self-medication to your list of things to be disappointed with in yourself.

The thing about stressing while in a job search is that you’ve got one thing to hold on to that makes the frustration of a job search worth the effort; there’s the hope of success. Get into the interview stage when you’ve had a rough time even having your applications acknowledged and you’re making progress. Have a good interview or two and you feel the momentum building. Build on the momentum and you find your making the short-list; getting down to the last cuts. Get the job and all that frustration leading up to this moment suddenly becomes worthwhile. You appreciate the job more when you get it, you experience a moment of gratitude and appreciation for what it took to get you there.

All those expressions about putting in the hard work to get what you want, keeping your eyes focused on the destination or anything worth having is worth working for etc. suddenly have real meaning. You earned this one.

Gone are the days when many people got the first job they applied to or jobs just dropped into their laps without really even looking. Gone are the times when your good looks, natural charm, sexy clothing or mom could get you the job just for the asking. Well for most of us; there are still some regressive employers who still hire sexy, but think about it; do you really want to work for a person who hired you based on that? What are you setting yourself up for in the future? Get hired based on merit, job-specific and transferable skills, experience and you’re better off.

Don’t give up, give in, lose hope, listen to pessimism and grind your job search to a halt. Stick with your quest for employment and apply for jobs. Do your best to keep that positive outlook but allow yourself to be human and acknowledge the disappointment and frustration that a prolonged job search can bring. You can simultaneously be disappointed with progress but optimistic that you’ll eventually succeed.

Athletes have trainers, coaches and rely heavily on those who have previously achieved success to mentor them. Why not follow the same formula when you’re after something you ultimately want too? Seeking support while job searching, having a professional coach instruct you in how to be most effective and then having the discipline and intelligence to actually follow the advice you’re given with a commitment to your own improvement is exactly what successful people do.

Of course there’s always the alternative…

 

When The Right Job Isn’t What Others Expect


Less than two weeks ago a young woman and I introduced ourselves to each other. Unemployed and looking for work, she voluntarily accepted an invitation to join a small group with whom I would take the lead and support while they searched for jobs.

When we first met, I looked at her existing resume and got an idea of her education and experience. Turns out she has a Community Service Worker Diploma which I was happy to see. So it was surprising on that first day when she announced to everyone in the group that she was looking for a job in Retail; or just about anything.

Ah the dreaded, “Anything” had raised its ugly head once again! Why on earth I thought to myself was this bright 29 year-old woman with this kind of education, ‘settling’ for an entry-level job outside her field of study? A natural question to muse about I thought at the time and had to look into quickly. After all, if I could get some time with her one-on-one, surely she’d open up and share which, in this case, would help me better understand her motive. Was it frustration with not getting to the interview stages, getting there but not being hired, not finding jobs to apply to? So many questions!

You have to understand that what I was in danger of doing at this point with almost no information to go on was projecting my value system on to her. People do this all the time don’t they; maybe you do too? You know, because we think someone has credentials and shows such potential they should be aiming higher, going for something better; something WE think is a better option for them. Transferring our own expectations on others.

I made it a point to sit down rather quickly with her and asked a number of questions to get at what was not clear just from looking at her. Without giving too much away here publicly, she mentioned that her last position was a poor personal fit and ended up with her termination. In addition to that experience, she has overcome some personal challenges (excellent news by the way!) which being very recent has left her a little depleted on the self-confidence meter. I mean great to have overcome them, but some passage of time without these reappearing would increase her belief that they are truly in the past.

In other words, the right job for her in the present; the job that she would best be suited for and fulfill many of her needs is a job outside her fields of training. When I listened to her without projecting my own expectations on her, I understood and empathized with her in a way that gave her reassurance that she was indeed going about things in a well-thought-out way. While she didn’t need my permission to do so, (and we both realized that) she did feel better knowing I wouldn’t be attempting to push her to try for jobs she wasn’t mentally prepared to succeed in a this time.

I’m thrilled to say that this allowed the two of us to connect on a more personal level. In sharing a little and finding reassurance and support, she was more at ease, truly receptive to learning, and it transpired into her demonstrating some excellent observable behaviours. She was the first one in class each day, the first to voluntarily contribute when I posed questions to the class at large and what I’m most happy to share is that she is the first one to have secured employment!

You know what else impresses me a great deal about this woman? In her email to me just yesterday in which she shared this success, she also indicated that despite having achieved her employment goal, she plans on attending both today and tomorrow; the last two days of class because she’s learning and enjoying the experience. Isn’t this the true sign of a winner? Absolutely; and she is.  She also made me smile in that email when she mentioned that she had gone in with the reframed attitude that a job interview is really a conversation; and although it lasted an hour and a half, she and the employer had an excellent talk which ranged from the job itself to topics like the dogs they owned. She took what was shared with her and implemented it which resulted in her ultimate success.

So much to take away from her story. Of note, I’d urge you to give yourself permission to seek work that’s right for you at any given moment, even if it seems to others you’re underachieving. In her situation, this job will rebuild some self-confidence, offer some much-needed income, re-introduce her to what employers find attractive in the applicants they interview; punctuality, living up to employment expectations. She’ll improve her interpersonal skills, get a reference or two perhaps.

This is what she wants and needs now. Sure, in the future she may once more opt to pursue employment making use of her academic education. She didn’t ‘settle’ at all though did she? No, she actually identified what she was capable of and needed, then took the initiative to improve her skills and apply what she had shared with her and achieved her goal.

You have to applaud her and others like her; I know I do.

 

How To Stick Around In The New Job


Frustrated with trying to keep a job once you get hired but it seems over and over they let you go before your probation is up? Not getting the kind of results you’d hoped for? It could be one thing or a combination of things that’s preventing you from sticking with a company and having them stick with you. If you could put your finger on exactly where you’re not being competitive it would certainly improve your chances.

So to help out, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you go about work in those early days on the job. Remember this is a general list of ideas and please feel free to add to this list with ideas of your own that you’ve found effective.

  1. Enthusiasm. For a long time now, employers have stated over and over that the people they hire must show some degree of enthusiasm or passion for the work to be done. You demonstrate enthusiasm with a positive attitude, investing yourself in learning the job, showing up on time, putting in the effort while you’re working to increase your productivity.

2. Interpersonal Skills. Most jobs these days require contact with others including co-workers, customers, supervisors, etc. When you work you become a part of a business that others are continually working hard to establish and build a reputation on. So even if you’re not naturally a people-person, to ultimately be successful work on being friendly, find your smile, initiate contact with a warm greeting and generally just be nice.

3. Commit To Learning. When you’re hired, congratulations are in order. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking the hard work is done. It’s now up to you to learn what you need to know as quickly as you can to become fully productive. When first hired, that organization puts money into training you – even if you can’t see it. They may assign someone to show you the ropes and if they do, not only are you not producing fully yet, neither is the person who is training you in addition to the work they’d normally be doing full-time.

4. Be Accountable. Employer’s want people who will show up when scheduled a few minutes early, then actually do the work they are being paid to do. When you stand or sit around and waste time, from their point of view you’re dead weight and stealing money by being unproductive while still expecting your salary. When no one is watching, do what you should be doing and do it with some pride.

5. Make The Investment. Do more than just work hard; work with intelligence. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to gain some useful and current experience. It may not be your forever job or dream job. So what? You applied, you got hired and now you’re an employee. Invest yourself in their business and at the same time you’re investing in yourself by learning something new, improving your existing skills and becoming more competitively attractive.

6. It’s NOT about you. Employers tell me they just don’t understand why it is that many of the people they hire seem to have this attitude that the employer somehow owes them something. When you work with an organization you should be thinking about what you can do to contribute your skills, ideas, energy and experience and not expecting to walk in one day and the next week ask for a raise. This kind of behaviour shows a real lack of understanding for the business, your own worth to the employer and the other employees who have worked there longer than you. Make it about the employer and you’ll generally benefit too.

7. Be Respectful. This is huge! That organization does things the way they do for a reason. Unless they specifically hired you for your innovative and creative ideas, keep your thoughts to yourself and learn how they do things. It could take up to a year for you to fully understand what they do and why they do it. Sometimes what they do in April differs from what they do in March, and you’ll have to stick around a full year to experience that activity if you were hired in the month of April. Respect the processes in place.

8. Leave Your Issues At The Door. Over time people in the company will want to get to know you better and they’ll take a personal interest perhaps in your life outside of work. However, in the beginning, it’s good advice to leave any personal problems and challenges outside the door when you show up for work. Focus your energy on the job you’re getting paid to do. Problems with your girlfriend, the landlord, your unpaid parking fines and health issues aren’t nearly as interesting to others as you think they are; don’t be a distraction.

9. Positive Attitude. Show up with a heavy, brooding attitude and you won’t last long. People like being surrounded by others who are generally upbeat and positive. A smile, saying “Hello and good morning” doesn’t take that much effort. If you work with the public, thank people for their business or their interest in the business. If you work with others, the odd word of thanks for helping you out while you get settled goes a long way.

All the best everyday!

 

 

“What Should I Do? What Should I Be?”


Find yourself pondering the BIG question; “What do I want out of Life?” You know, trying to decide your purpose, your career goal; that ‘thing’ you were destined to do and be great at. I wonder if the answer doesn’t lie so much in wondering what you want to get out of Life as it does in pondering what you’re ready to put INTO your life.

A clever play on words? A change in philosophy? Maybe just some pseudo-psychological babble? Or perhaps – just perhaps mind – we’re on to something here. Worth exploring before dismissing or embracing? Absolutely.

Some seem to have it all figured out don’t they? I mean they fixed on their career goal as a child or young teenager and stuck to the plan. They went to school, graduated, started in an entry-level position and years later they are still energized in their work. They never really had to struggle with indecision, doubt or distraction. They stayed true to their goal and never wavered and it all turned out great.

Not everybody has that experience. For many, what to do with their life is a recurring theme. Time and time again they stand at a crossroads wondering what to do, which direction to go in, what might hold the answer to the their happiness. They move from job to job, stimulated with the new challenges each brings, but always finding themselves looking for another job; one that brings them something their current job lacks. Some live this way intentionally because it works for them. Nothing wrong with that if it works.

The most dangerous situation when pondering the big, “What is the meaning of my Life?” question, is putting living on hold to the point of paralysis. In other words, it’s a good and healthy exercise to pause occasionally and check where you’re going and if your current destination is still the right goal for you or not. However, stand fixed to a spot afraid to move for fear of making the wrong choice for too long and you can become immobilized while Time itself ticks on.

This then is the source of the pressure and stress for many isn’t it? Sure it is. You hear it in statements like, “I’m not getting any younger you know”, or “Time and tide wait for no man”. The older we get the more we feel the pressure to have figured it out too. By the way, as it relates to figuring out what to do with Life: you’ve never been as old as you are at this precise moment in time. As each second and minute, day and week go by, you age and again you’ve never been that old before. So whether you’re 29, 38, 49 or 62 you might just be wondering, “What should I be doing with my life?”,  or “What’ my great plan?” and that’s okay to ponder. It won’t be the last time you think about it likely either.

Maybe as I said earlier, the key is thinking more about what you want to invest in Life; with the time you’ve got and the resources you have. If you’re a people person and you find yourself infused with energy when you’re helping or cooperating with others, it’s likely you’ll gain great satisfaction out of doing more of that kind of work. If you’re positively stimulated and happiest when solving what others see as problems, perhaps investing yourself in honing your problem-solving skills is the key for you. So do you want to fix home plumbing issues, computer problems, work to discover a cure for a disease or solve mysteries of our universe? All problems to work on, but requiring very unique skills.

Very little in Life that has real meaning and really importance comes without a personal investment. Just as you can’t take money out of a bank without investing your money in it first, you can’t expect Life to dish out all the great things it has to offer unless you immerse yourself in it.

For some, this immersion means travel; see the world, broaden your horizon’s. For others, it means go to school, improve and expand your mind. For you? Who knows? Maybe it’s auditioning job after job in a variety of fields, determining what you like and like better until you arrive at whatever it is you’d like to do for a long time. You can always re-evaluate in the future what is right for you at that point too. No need to lay a fixed course for your next 75 years when you’re 10 years old.

Ever notice how this same ‘investing first’ mentality gets passed over in other areas of life? You might hear one person ask another, “So what are you looking for in a spouse?” You rarely hear that person say, “So what are you ready to invest in a relationship?” The question you get asked or ask of yourself tends to direct the answer you give. “I want or expect” versus, “I’ll give or invest…”

You get what you put in. Is that it? We’re all different, looking for different outcomes, searching for what sparks our happiness. The good news I believe is that there is no single thing we were destined to alone; you’ve probably got what it takes to find meaning and fulfillment in many things in Life; your job(s) being just one of them. Thoughts?

 

Reflecting On 1st Impressions


Talk to anyone about an upcoming job interview and you’re likely going to be reminded to make a positive first impression. Mention you’ve got an important meeting coming up with people you’ve never met before and you get the same advice; you’ve got to make a strong first impression.

The first impression we have on others is so critical to our ultimate success whether it’s landing a job we really want, getting the nod of approval from the parents of the person we’re dating, finding a place to buy your groceries in a new community and the list goes on. That first impression we have or others have about us is huge.

One thing to remember if you’ve got an upcoming interview or important first meeting of any kind and you’re overly nervous is that you can take steps beforehand to shape that first impression they’ll form about you. While you can’t guarantee that your preparation will create the impression you hope for, you can turn the odds in your favour. Pay little to no attention to the kind of impression you want to make and you’re risking a lot if the outcome of that first meeting is important to you.

Consider the overall message you want to convey. Are you hoping to come across as confident, friendly, aloof, intellectual, down-to-earth, mainstream, provocative or a leader? If you were limited to two words in describing what first impression you’re hoping to make, what two words would you choose? The importance you attach to making a good first impression will decide how little or great effort you put into preparing for that first hello.

First impressions are shaped by the clothes you wear; their design, colour, choice of material, fit, appropriateness for the occasion and cleanliness. Often it’s a good idea to get close enough to an organization where you can pickup the clothing choices of the employees who work in similar roles to one you’re competing for. Are they dressed formally, casually or do they opt for business/casual? While you want to fit in with their existing workforce, you need to also consider that dressing up for that interview demonstrates respect for the importance of the conversation.

While clothes might set you back a bit in the wallet, a warm smile, good eye contact and a firm but not overpowering handshake just require the effort to produce them and nothing more. Same goes for your posture. Standing with both feet firmly planted and not leaning on one leg will create an impression of strength. Put both hands on your hips at the same time as you stand with your feet firmly on the ground and you’ve assumed the ‘Superman’ pose of power. Of course this may or may not be the first impression you hope to create. You see it depends. You might not want to be misrepresented as arrogant or intimidating if you’re meeting the potential future in-laws!

Posture is just or equally important when seated too. Sitting too rigid could make you feel uncomfortable and communicate tension and inflexibility. Get too comfortable and your slouch and crossed legs might send the message that you’re not attaching the level of professionalism this meeting requires. Lean forward slightly in your chair and focus your eyes on those speaking and the message you send is that you’re engaged and attentive.

Grooming is essential too. Clean-shaven, scruffy first few days without a shave or trimmed beard? Light or heavy makeup? Subtle or strong lipstick? Scent-free deodorant or a few dabs of cologne or perfume? Is this a job interview your preparing for or a first date?

Now despite all the above – and there’s much more that goes into crafting this first impression by the way – there’s a limit to what you can do. Just as we shape our opinions of others largely based on our past experiences with people who seem like those we meet, the same is true of others who are shaping their opinions of us. Our height, weight, shape, tone of voice, hair colour and style, smile, smell, choice of words and expressions, etc; each of these communicate information to those we interact with. This information others receive is quickly checked against their past encounters with others they’ve interacted with and they’ll take that information and put it all together coming up with a first impression of us. All in just a few seconds!

Make what we call a good first impression and your goal is to keep this up for the duration of the encounter. Get off creating an impression other than the one you’d hoped for and you have to invest energy and time persuading the person that the first impression they have of you isn’t accurate. This can be impossible or difficult depending on the length of time you have available. If you think it’s not fair that a job interviewer has you sized up in the first 4 minutes, don’t forget you do it too. You’re sizing up others, forming opinions that have you judging them; meet enough people and you’ll judge that workplace, and make inferences about the entire organization and culture based on limited interaction.

First impressions can turn others off, get them excited about having us around, leave them indifferent or leave us memorable in their consciousness. It is because of this that putting some thought and effort into creating the first impression we want is worth all the effort.

 

Spontaneous Fun In The Office


Yesterday afternoon was a period of planning and preparation for me. Starting on Monday of next week I will be working out of a different office than I would normally, facilitating a two-week employment workshop. So it was an afternoon of assembling all the required resources I’ll need and putting these all together in kits for each participant.

So does this sound like a good time to you? It requires some serious calculations; determining all the items needed and not forgetting anything that might later on suddenly become essential if missed. These kits I assemble include pens, notepads, highlighters, pencils, a tent card, thank you cards and envelopes, USB flash sticks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, a large leather folder, a smaller folder including a calculator and my business card. Then there’s the general supplies like flip chart paper and markers, tape, stapler, and the list goes on.

Sorting all these items into a pile for each participant and ensuring no one pile is short any particular item takes time. If this administrative, behind-the-scenes kind of afternoon sounds mundane, isolating and boring to you, you’d be surprised then to find that I turned it into something both fun, productive and inclusive. I’m sharing this with you as a real-life example of what you might do – or something akin to what I’ve done – in your own workplace when faced with something similar.

The first thing I did was use a high-traffic location which is accessed by staff moving about the office from one area to another. To pass the time, I fired up the laptop there and was soon piping some music through the overhead speakers. Nothing too loud and annoying for those working at desks nearby, but just loud enough to hear while in the room.

The music I chose to play was catchy, lively and old enough to be well-known and hopefully spark some good memories. The playlist for example included, ‘Born to Be Alive’ by Patrick Hernandez, ‘The Twist’ by Chubby Checker, ‘Love Shack’ by The B-52’s, ‘Pretty Woman’ by Roy Orbison and ‘My Sharona’ by The Knack. Bouncy tunes with solid beats and music to move by.

Never afraid to be in the spotlight, I was shuffling my feet, dancing around the room and the fitbit on my wrist was counting every step and contributing to my overall daily goals. As it turns out, it was also qualifying as exercise minutes too, something I hadn’t thought of until I later checked; an added bonus. Who knew?

As the staff moved through the space, they laughed, rolled their eyes; hey I even got in a dance move or two with a few of my co-workers who couldn’t help but stop for 40 seconds or so and shake it on down with me. While this went on, another worker was taking photo’s and recording a video of these spontaneous moments which she later circulated to those caught on camera.

Now you might say to yourself that what I’m sharing just goes to show a good example of unproductive, wasted time when these few staff were entirely goofing around and getting paid to do it too. Ah my readers, if you feel this way you couldn’t be further from the truth. The packages I was assembling got done with no extra time involved. The staff passing through couldn’t help but smile and laugh. They experienced some levity and had you been there to see it, you would really have seen people bonding together; nurturing good working relationships with one another. These are the kinds of moments many employers hope to have in their workplaces but can’t script, plan and implement. It’s the spontaneity and staff themselves that make them work.

There’s huge benefits too. You know that post-lunch sag in energy that many people experience? There was none of that I assure you. People walked through and either moved to the beat, rolled their eyes in mock disbelief but chuckled, laughed out loud and shook their heads, or went about their business just after saying how much they loved whatever song was on at that moment. When was the last time you heard, ‘In The Summertime’ by Mungo Jerry? Ah, now you’re humming it or looking it up on YouTube perhaps.

Now does this sound like the kind of thing you could pull off in your office? What in your workplace are some of the spontaneous things you do or have experienced that others initiated which build on staff bonding and interaction? As I left for home yesterday one of the Administrative Clerks said goodnight and asked me if tomorrow it would be Broadway tunes!

Many organizations have social committees, as does the organization I work for. These groups of people are tasked with making the office a positive place to work, coming up throughout the year with fun activities, typically highlighting events of note like anniversaries, holidays, special themes etc. They may raise money for charities, need budgets to buy whatever supplies they need to run the events etc. The beauty of yesterdays spontaneous fun was it cost nothing to run, there was no planning to do, no permission to seek, no emails to compose, send and have read.

So in the end, some workers laughed, some danced, I got some exercise, the time flew by, the work got done, and a few of us got a little closer. Not a bad day at all.