January 19th, 2012
Tips, Tools and Tutorials
What is it about Starbucks that makes it so conducive to creativity? Is it the buzz in the air (and I don’t mean the caffeine, though it can’t be entirely discounted) that makes you want to begin projects you wouldn’t have thought of doing at home? Maybe it’s the synergy of all those laptops and smartphones giving off electrical charges and impulses that ignite your brain, not unlike a defibrillator generating the electricity to jumpstart a heart. It could just be the relaxed atmosphere where people are there not because they have to be but because they want to be. Whatever it is, I admit the power in the air is undeniable. Few places can claim the power to conceive in their visitors the need to be part of something bigger than themselves. The two places I think of off the top of my head are church and Starbucks, respectively.
There are plenty of businesses that wish they could boast such an enthusiastic atmosphere; and they can if they create surroundings people want to be a part of. It isn’t always the products a business provides, but the passion with which they’re provided. When things are fun and not viewed as a chore, then they are more aptly accepted. I heard a quote once, “It’s never really considered work, unless you’d rather be doing something else,” and I always think back on it when I’m performing tasks out of obligation rather than choice, because it rings so true. If people walked into an office suite or site of commerce and they felt that “buzz,” that indescribable feeling of excitement in the air, it would make them want to be a part of it. Gaiety has a way of consuming a place and if there is a buzz in the air, people will notice. Have you ever gone to a concert and the opening band was one you weren’t particularly excited for, but despite yourself soon found you were tapping your foot and bopping your head? It’s the buzz. Have you walked into a spa full of stress and woe only to be immediately assaulted by the smells of lavender and the sound of serene music? Suddenly a whooshing of tranquility washes over you and you find yourself smiling and a little giddy as you walk over to the receptionist to check yourself in. It’s the buzz.
One way to generate the buzz I’m referring to is through your employees. If they work in an environment where their creativity is encouraged, they would feel at ease in expressing themselves and it would flow throughout the culture of the company. If you as an employer are much too cavalier and don’t allow for joviality, your employees will feel that they need only show up for work, get their job done, clock out and go home. Where’s the excitement? Where’s the vibrancy? More than likely your employees give you eight hours of their lives five days a week. That’s a lot of time they could be putting elsewhere. If they worked in an environment that didn’t allow for activities or good-natured fun, they would inadvertently create a vibe not unlike that of a mortuary: silent, impersonal, and all business. What’s wrong with that, you might be thinking. I don’t run a circus, I run a business. Fair enough, I’m not suggesting you should change the entire persona of your business, but bear in mind that what sits behind the scenes, the vibes in the air, are picked up subconsciously and create many different feelings.
The whole idea I’m trying to convey is environment. The kind of environment people walk into immediately resonates in their subconscious and that sets their mood. Lightheartedness tends to relax people, and relaxed people are more likely to listen to what you have to say or browse at what you have to offer. You don’t have to compromise the integrity of your professionalism to create a buzz, but creating an atmosphere of passion, excitement, and creativity can have a desirable affect on the people you hope to sell. Even a little goes a long way. Why not give it a go; rev-up some team spirit in your day-to-day work atmosphere and see where your employees’ new dispositions can take your business.
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