We have all seen this. The welcome at Starbucks, the bubbly personality at Trader Joe’s. And it is uncannily the same, doesn’t matter which of their stores you walk into.
It cannot possibly be organic. How could ALL the people at Starbucks ALWAYS want to be friendly? How is it possible that all the cashiers at Trader Joe’s ask you about the -fill in the blank here- “Have you tried this before?”, and then continue… “OMG, it is soooooo good, You know what I do? I put it in the Air Fryer, and smother it with…..”
I know you are smiling now.
First, all these companies hire purposefully. They select people with certain personalities, but then, they also encourage and sometimes demand, this type of behavior. So all those people greeting you almost like your dog when you come home, or telling you how to increase the calorie impact of your next meal by an order of magnitude; sorry… have been trained for that.
But there is also a good part to all of this. We, humans, we reciprocate. We -what’s the word?- oh yeah! we “mirror” others’ behavior. The tactic has the ability to sneak under our defenses, and we play along. So we enthusiastically say hi back to the barista, and we reply to the cashier, “no, I haven’t”, listening intently. And then, something happens. It starts to feed on itself, and we become as upbeat as they are, and then they double down, and we have a feast of good vibes that almost rivals therapy.
It all starts with leaders in the organization making a decision. Announcing that “at our place, this is the energy we want”. The amazing thing is that after a while, one interaction at a time, it starts to work. We go from fake to real.