Mixing Red Noses and Business Body Language Redux – Results from Red Nose Day 2016
Smiles! Laughter! Community! Fun! Business!
by Barbara Chatzkel
Last month, I described my preparations for the annual Red Nose Day held by Walgreens. I ventured that the combination of red “silly stuff,” such as noses, deely boppers, and sunglasses in a business setting would result in “confusion, mixed-up business body language, fun, and fundraising for US children living in poverty.”
And I’m happy to report, that’s exactly what happened. The 2016 Red Nose Day event raised more than $34 million to alleviate poverty for children living in the United States. Those are pretty amazing results for letting people be silly.
I spent May 26, 2016 sharing Red Noses with everyone I met. All of the recipients were surprised and a bit shy at first about wearing a red nose. However, I saw business body language transformations as soon as the noses went on – shoulders relaxed, posture eased, arms relaxed at sides, and lots of happy (and silly) facial movement, from smiles to serious looks, nose touching, eyebrow movement, and most importantly a sparkle in the eye.
I celebrated the day with the staff at my local Walgreen’s on N. 27th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. The pictures tell the story – a team of employees celebrating for a good cause. The Regional Manager came by for the celebration because he knew that this team knew how to have fun for a good cause.
What you didn’t get to experience was the reaction of the other customers. We literally stopped them in their tracks! Everyone stopped and you could see their body language change from inward/closed to smiling, laughing, and looking for a Red Nose.
My business body language lessons from Red Nose Day:
- You can mix business and fun, but it takes preparation and setting the stage.
- Stress levels drop and body language relaxes when laughter and silliness happens.
- Participating in an activity outside the normal routine is a great team-building experience.
- Business does not suffer when people play at work – it rebounds. Minutes after these photos were taken, all members of the team were back serving customers, but they all were wearing a smile!
For me, Red Nose Day proves that you can be business-like and silly in the same moment. My red nose sits on my bookshelf to remind me not to take myself too seriously and to SMILE.
Until next month.
NOTE: For those who aren’t Red Nosers, Red Nose Day is a nationwide day spotlighting the plight of US children living in poverty as well as providing an opportunity to donate to Comic Relief, Inc., the nonprofit that hosts the event. It has multiple sponsors – Walgreen’s, NBC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, M&M’s, and many others.
Barbara Chatzkel’s ability to provide a vibrant and behavior-changing book extends across industry segments – everyone uses business body language. Her coaching and consulting expertise on business body language grew from conducting union negotiations, managing difficult personnel situations, managing at multiple levels, and extensive business coaching experience. Her new book, Business Body Language: Your Visual Business Card, will be available in print in early 2016. Visit her website today for further information.