The premise of Zaric's session was that once staffers are able to focus on improving their attitude, all the rest—better drinks, happier customers, bigger tips—will follow.
Yet as abstract as a lot of this sounds, Chrissy Denihan, the brand's Chief Comfort Officer (whom we interviewed back in October) says that after the six training sessions in New York City and Washington DC, hotel staff members were coming up to her saying it was the "best two hours of their lives."
Hm. Well, spending two hours making alcoholic beverages with an ostensible happiness guru is probably bound to make anyone feel good about their job. But, hey, mission accomplished!
Here's a description of one of the experiments Zaric conducted during the session:
"Participants had to make their own Negroni cocktail, each using even portions of the same ingredients. They had to mix, shake, and pour the cocktail, which was then sampled by three different tasters. Obviously, each drink tasted slightly different.
Then, the participants were asked to make the Negronis again, but this time, they were asked to think about someone they love while mixing the cocktail. It caught them off guard a little bit, but the end result was that the cocktails were lighter and airer the second time around."
As a souvenir from the workshop, staffers were each given a marble to place in their pocket. The marble is supposed to serve as a reminder to "stay in the moment" and not get frustrated whenever things get a little heated.
That's funny, we do the same thing but with a small silver flask of whisky.
PS..."The Art of Being Present," in fact, has nothing to do with the cuddly little stuffed gorillas (pictured) left on the beds at Affinia Manhattan. But they sure make us feel good!
Noticed any extra-happy people working at Affinia lately? Is this type of workshop something you would attend at your own office? Let us know what you think in the comments below!