What can FISH! teach us about making our workplace better?

No, it isn’t a tic.

FISH! is a workplace philosophy developed by ChartHouse Learning based on the work environment of the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. But what can fish – err, FISH! – teach us about making our workplace better?

Known today as the only place on Earth where fish fly on land, Pike Place Fish Market could easily have been just another dreary fish market. Located scarcely three blocks from the notoriously cold and gloomy Elliott Bay, from an outsider’s perspective, there’s little reason for it to be the thriving community it is.

In 1986, the market was nearly bankrupt and largely unknown to anyone outside of Seattle. Few thought the market would survive the year, let alone the decade.

But when John Christensen, owner of ChartHouse Learning, visited Pike Place in 1997, he noticed something astounding.

Workers at Pike Place were not only making it through their day. They were having fun. More importantly, though, their customers seemed to be enjoying themselves, too.

Something had changed in that gray little fish market, and the difference showed.

That difference, a conscious change on the part of the market’s employees, was what Christensen termed the “FISH! philosophy.”

It starts with Being Present.

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“Be alert, be active,” said Kimberly Hayes, a training specialist at Georgia Regents University. “Don’t just come in and tune out.”

Once you’re actively involved in your work and your workplace, the next, and possibly most important, step begins: Choosing Your Attitude.

“It all starts with the way you choose to feel,” said Hayes. “If you want to feel good at work, you will, no matter what else is going on.”

With your head and heart in the right place, the time comes to include others. The task? A simple one – Make Someone’s Day.

“Do something nice for a patient,” said Hayes. “Take a few minutes to help a student in need, or do a favor for a co-worker. The results can be more impactful than you might believe.”

And last but far from least, Have Fun!

“You’ve got to enjoy yourself,” said Hayes. “Find a way to make work enjoyable for yourself, and it’ll show through your actions and your interactions with others.

Interested in learning more about the FISH! philosophy?

Hayes will be leading sessions of FISH! philosophy training titled “FISH! Philosophy: Catch the Energy,” on Wednesday, Apr. 13, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and Tuesday, Apr. 26 from 2-4 p.m. in the Medical Center’s 3rd Floor Amphitheater, Room BI 3079.

To register for training, log on to Workforce Learn Online and search for “FISH!” under the “Register for Training” link at the top of your screen.

Contact Training Specialist Kimberly Hayes at 706-721-3196 or kihayes@gru.edu for more information.

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Nick Garrett
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Nick Garrett

Nick Garrett is a communications coordinator in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him at 706-446-4802 or ngarret1@augusta.edu.

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Nick Garrett Written by Nick Garrett

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