Small Gestures

Read all of my Seattle Times columns.

“What’s the peppermint mocha?” I asked a beloved client. He looked at me blankly.

He was describing workplace conflict and hostility with another team. “They just sit there and obstruct,” he told me. “We need to get the work done, and they throw up endless roadblocks.”

I gave him the peppermint-mocha backstory.

“I was at my kid’s Ultimate Frisbee game,” I explained. “It was cold. Raining. Early.”

The coach came over, I said, and asked me whether I like peppermint mochas, hinting that he wanted one, and then wandered back to the pregame warm up.

I headed to a nearby coffee shop and bought the coach a peppermint mocha, with extra chocolate. I did it because I’m a nice person, more or less, and I genuinely care about the coach.

And I did it because it is strategic…

(Read the rest of the story at The Seattle Times.)