If someone were to write a book on ‘How to win friends and influence people’, they should include a chapter on ‘give away free chocolates’. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I do know in my team it is bound to make you popular.
Last week one of my colleagues from Singapore had come to India to make a presentation on some newly launched product. He was from some department in treasury – always considered the snootiest of people in most banks. Not to mention, he was from Singapore and hence perceived to be snootier still. And the presentation was at 9.30 in the morning when most of us are too sleepy to have acknowledged the fact that yet another workday has began. A combination of all this ensured that we sat and stared at him grouchily as he started his presentation. Within five minutes, he had figured out that the presentation would probably proceed on the lines of a funeral if he did not take some quick measures. With a flourish he announced an impromptu quiz on some really elementary topic and told the winners would get chocolates. Man, you should have seen the lot of us. We were miraculously transformed from impassive sulky employees into enthusiastic members of a great team.
What is about free chocolates that can make a bunch of people in their late 20s and early 30s react like good school children? It is not like we can’t afford to buy our own chocolates. For me, I think it is the unexpected binging trip. For someone else it is a throwback to those days as a kid when a classmate’s birthday meant a sudden rare chocolate to cheer up the daily grind.
Whatever the reason, when it is chocolate my entire team can sell its soul really cheap.