The Benefits of Being There

Published On: May 3, 2023Categories: Blog

If you regularly read this blog, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the 4 core practices of the Fish! Philosophy: Be There, Play, Make Their Day, and Choose Your Attitude. These principles are at the center of everything we do, and they’re the foundations that make Fish! so effective in the school or workplace.

However, just like any skill or piece of knowledge, it helps to revisit something you know intimately in order to re-establish the benefits and reinforce the importance of that skill. By spending a bit of time to refamiliarize yourself with something you’ve spent so much time practicing, it makes it salient again, allowing you to put front and center in your mind something that may otherwise have taken a back seat due to familiarity or confidence.

So today, let’s take another look at the first of these core skills: Be There. We’ll discuss what it is, why it’s important, and how it can take your organizational effectiveness and personal happiness to the next level.

Being There builds trust

Fundamentally, to Be There is to be emotionally present to those around you. It means not shying away from or ignoring the potential for personal, emotional conversations with coworkers and professional associates, even if they don’t immediately pertain to the work task at hand. It can be as brief and straightforward as asking someone how their day is, or it can be as complex and delicate as helping a coworker talk through grief, confusion, or emotionally heavy subjects.

But even the straightforward practices require commitment and integrity. Being there requires listening actively, without distraction or judgment–which can often be difficult in a workplace environment full of cell phones, competing responsibilities, and conflicting ideas. But if you can manage this, you’ll find yourself building trust with your coworkers that you never had before. They’ll feel more comfortable being their full selves, sharing their honest opinions, and coming to you for help and guidance. 

Trust fosters effective communication 

With this trust comes more open communication, too. Coworkers with more personal connections and a new level of trust will find it easier to be open and honest with you and themselves. When they need help, they’ll speak up more readily. When they disagree with you, they’ll be more comfortable voicing that disagreement respectfully rather than defaulting to passive-aggressive or confrontational behavior. And when things are going well, they’ll be more likely to share the praise and validation that keeps us all going.

And it’s not a one-way street, either. As you consistently practice Being There with others, they’ll be more likely to show up for you where it counts–returning that kindness and emotional presence in a way that builds on that trust and creates not only mutually supportive work relationships, but potentially even strong and lasting friendships as well.

Stronger relationships make for stronger work 

Of course, it’s easy to dismiss the idea of Being There as just “making friends at work.” Some managers may even feel an initial concern about the idea. After all, aren’t we just encouraging people to “waste” time at work by talking to each other about things completely outside of the scope of their jobs? The answer, obviously, is not. Being There can make for a much stronger workplace as when coworkers develop relationships with each other built on the foundations of trust, emotional availability, and effective communication, their work output will undoubtedly improve.

Teams that trust each other are more likely to engage in intellectual Play and share creative, potentially groundbreaking ideas without the fear of judgment. Those that are emotionally present for each other are more likely to engage others in those random acts that Make Their Day and build loyalty to the workplace and the company. And choosing to Be There also gives you a starting point to Choose Your Attitude in other aspects of your work life, bringing more positivity and confidence to every interaction. Being There is foundational to all the other FISH! core practices!

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Do you feel your coworkers feel comfortable sharing their emotions with you? Why or why not?
  • What’s one action you can take tomorrow to emotionally connect with someone else on your team?
  • How can Being There for your work associates benefit you and the company at large?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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