I do a lot of work with leadership groups about communication skills, avoiding conflict and getting along for productivity and happiness. I’m positioned to easily choose who I surround myself with – the joys of leadership. Stepping into this part-time work at Starbucks is an entirely different ball of wax.

Dealing with different personality styles is more challenging when you’re part of a team vs. leading it. In your own business or as a manager you don’t have to suck up complex beahviors. You facilitate change. As an employee, or partner at Starbucks, you just have to deal with it. At first I verged on getting annoyed and sharing some thoughts for growth, but checked myself. New girl on the block – be still, earn respect as a peer and see if an opportunity presents itself if needs be.

These interesting ‘people’ moments have raised a question: “Why are people willing to work hard for minimum wages?” Are their priorities and energy focused elsewhere? Students, family needs, no other work? Just want to get out of the house? Want to build a career in this company? I guess these are reasons and they’re all acceptable.

I had the privilege last month to speak at a Leadership retreat for CBS leaders. What an amazing experience with these servant leaders. Such a contrast to my work at Starbucks and I realized that Barista work is a true servanthood experience that I will always treasure. I do love to serve – one of my spiritual gifts. It’s easy to serve when you choose to – different when it’s expected and demanded by customers with bad attitudes.

There have been days that I think I’m crazy doing this and I’ve been overwhelmed with the details. Realized again that practice makes perfect. It gets easier and there’s time to enjoy the team! And the customers. Most days now, this work is filling those needs of being part of a team and enjoying the free drinks!

Lessons Learned so far at Starbucks:

  • You have to learn skills to work peacefully with all the personality styles and moods of your co-workers.
  • Don’t be bossy  – earn respect.
  • Don’t judge anyone as to why they do what they do.
  • Be thankful for each server at a restaurant, hotel, trash pickup, cleaning person as they do essential work and serve you through it. AND – be nice.

There’s more and I hope to share it this week. Always so much happening! Always growing and expanding! That’ll be my prayer for you this week – “May you grow and expand in at least one way”.



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