Lean LeadershipLean Culture Building

Is your group a bagel or a croissant?

By Andy Fulton

When you walk into a meeting, or another large gathering of people where you don’t know many people that might be a little intimidating, or even nerve-racking, especially when all you see are….Bagels!

Bagels (in networking speak) are tight circles of people (like a bagel, get it?) that already know each other, are talking, laughing, having a ball and look…utterly unapproachable.

“I’ll go stand in the corner by myself drinking another cup of coffee (or in the evening, 3rd glass of wine), thanks though!”

Instead, try being a Croissant – buttery, flaky, delicious, and…open!

Think about your body language and that of the group you are talking with. Is it completely closed (Bagel!) or open and inviting to others (Croissant!). Even better, if you see someone wandering around, why not invite them over to join your conversation and see what’s on their mind?

Try to be curious about those you haven’t met and be inviting to make meeting new people actually enjoyable and show Respect for People.

Now look in the mirror and apply this to new team members or infrequently encountered team members. When they walk in, are you and your team croissants? Are you easily approachable? Welcoming? Open?

This checks so many boxes: Respect, Communication, Culture-building, Trust-building, Psychologically Safe.

Bet you didn’t know croissants were so Lean, did you?

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