Our Crew Catches the Fever

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Traveling around the country interviewing dozens of people who work for and run these amazing companies, it’s hard not to catch the kindness fever. Television crews are tight knit teams of three to five people working long hours under stressful conditions. Often tempers can flare and relationships turn sour.

However, on this project, the positive vibes seem to have worn off on us and our team is working amazingly well. We’ve learned a number of little tricks, and I’ve found they instantly lead to a happier, more productive crew.

For instance, at Mitchell’s, a small family-owned chain of three high-end clothing retail stores in Connecticut and New York we attended a management meeting in which they went around the room to each person and everyone in the group said one thing about each person that they appreciated or admired. After each round of praise, the group as a whole began snapping their fingers.

I asked them what the finger snapping was all about, and they said it came from Jack Mitchell, one of the owners who first saw it as a student at Wesleyan University. It’s like a little low-key applause. Now my crew and I have begun snapping our fingers. Often when someone has done something well, one of us will acknowledge it and the whole group will start snapping our fingers. It makes that person feel good, and the individuals adhere as a team. It’s amazing how this lifts the spirits and contributes to group morale and productivity.

Gino Del Guercio

Film Director