What Teachers can Teach Us About the FISH! Philosophy

Published On: March 29, 2023Categories: Blog


Educators are some of the strongest users of the FISH! Philosophy, integrating its four pillars into how they manage their classrooms and how they get the best out of their students. After years of hearing how teachers are putting FISH! to great use inside the education system, we’ve pulled out a few key lessons that are applicable to organizations anywhere and people of any age.

Strong relationships require patience

Building strong relationships is absolutely crucial for the success of any group, whether it’s coworkers trying to build a great business or teachers trying to foster an effective learning environment. But not every shell is easy to crack, and nobody knows that better than our educators.

Whether it’s due to lack of positive role models, difficult home lives, or experiences that make them closed off and unwilling to trust easily, every teacher we talk to has plentiful experience with students who just don’t seem to want to build those strong relationships. And what we’ve heard time and time again is that it is possible, but it takes time and patience.

Just like teachers do with their students, we can build strong, long-lasting relationships with our coworkers by Being There when they need our support and Choosing Our Attitude to bring positivity and open-mindedness to even difficult situations.

Learn to see everyone’s potential

Teachers know that their students are in a continuous state of learning and personal growth. After all, they’re kids–that’s why we have school to teach them! The best teachers keep this in the front of their mind always, and work to inspire their students to be the best they can be and grow beyond what others might think they’re capable of.

But for many of us, it’s often difficult to give other adults this same grace and acknowledge the ability to change. We may be full grown, but none of us are ever truly done growing. And when we treat people as stagnant or stuck in one place, it turns out that they’re far more likely to act in ways that confirm this belief.

So if someone isn’t living up to our expectations, or we want them to do better, we should follow the lead of our educators and turn our minds to truly believe they can do better–because if we do, they’ll have the best chance of succeeding.

Create ownership and build a sense of purpose 

What separates the teachers we love and recall fondly from the ones we wish we could forget? For a lot of us, it comes down to how they ran their classroom. Teachers who were strict, authoritarian, and taught us more about following rules than about expanding our minds are often the ones that earned our ire. Conversely, the teachers that nurtured our talents, believed in us enough to give us real responsibility, and challenged us to work together to build community are the ones that we look back on as real role models and successful leaders.

So for business leaders looking to grow their organizations, think back to the teachers you love the most and take your inspiration from them. Obviously the on-paper perks of a job (competitive salary, room for advancement, useful benefits) are a huge part of what attracts and keeps talent, but it’s not the whole story.

According to a study by LinkedIn, nearly half of all workers surveyed said they would be willing to do their job for less than their current salary if the job gave them a greater “sense of purpose.” So if you can build your organizational culture that encourages people to really connect with their work, fosters ownership in the organization, and builds a sense of purpose, your team is more likely to respond with improved attitudes across the board. 

Playing is crucial–always 

But how do you actually create that sense of purpose and ownership? It may seem counter-intuitive, but teachers know better than anyone that if you want people to do their best work, you have to make room for Play.

Play doesn’t just mean bouncing a ball around; it’s about the freedom to explore without boundaries. It’s space to think outside the box and be heard without judgment. It’s the opportunity to try new ideas without fear of punishment if they fail. Trust us: just like a teacher knows they’ve made a breakthrough when they see that spark of inspiration in a students’ eye, you’ll know you’ve built a bit of loyalty when you see an employee give it their all to build on an idea that they suggested–and you gave the go-ahead.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Who was your favorite or most inspiring teacher when you were growing up? What did they do differently that nurtured you to grow and inspired you to learn?
  • How do you think about your coworkers or employees? Do you see them as one-dimensional background characters, or as complicated people constantly growing and learning on their own terms?
  • What’s one step you can take today to build a stronger sense of ownership and purpose within 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 this April in Minneapolis, MN.

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

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 info@charthouse.com 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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