Coffee is one of those drinks that magically brings people together. When Jack found his famous beans, he would have likely had more approval from the village (and fewer casualties) had he brewed them into a delicious beverage.
More than a societal norm, coffee-drinking is a ritual that many people take part in. But how does it really bring us together?
It’s is a great icebreaker - that reason to approach someone and chat for a few minutes. Much like a water cooler, the coffee machine (especially at work) is a central place that unites even the most different of personalities. You may not approach a colleague empty-handed to chat about the latest popular show, Nancy’s new hairdo or about business. Holding that cup of coffee can give you all the confidence you need.
Want a strong team of happy productive people? Provide some hot, tasty coffee and you’re 90% there!
You might have noticed seemingly magnetic properties. Once you have a cup of coffee in your hand, you naturally gravitate towards others holding a cup because you have something in common. Whether a gathering is recreational or professional, it also has the ability to break up inhibitions and tensions, letting conversation and ideas flow naturally. Coffee is the only requirement for entering this social club, facilitating camaraderie and friendship. There’s no question coffee is a lubricant, and a team may get along better when it’s involved (especially if you’ve seen what some of us are like when we don’t get our morning brew!).
Caffeine is a great motivator. It gives you energy, elevates your mood and (literally) makes you feel warm inside. According to one study, coffee can unlock your creative juices and let them flow, giving an adrenaline shot to group projects or meetings that might otherwise be a snooze. Better yet, that cup of joe turns your brain cells on overdrive so they learn new concepts faster.
A study at Yale by professor John A. Bargh tested subjects holding hot coffee and cold coffee to see if there was a difference in how they related to people and how they were perceived. The hot/cold personality traits were reflected in the temperature of their beverage. People given hot coffee and told to write things down about other subjects were more positive and felt more connected to them, while those holding ice coffee showed lower attachment levels and feelings of warmth towards their fellow colleagues. Moral of the story: it might be hot outside, but drink hot coffee anyway!
Maybe you never thought about it before, but prior to a bean being ground and put in the coffeemaker, it goes on a long journey and touches many people’s lives. First, there are the landowners who provide the fertile ground for farmers to grow and tend the plants to maturity. Once the plants mature, workers pick the beans, which are then processed by another team. Ready for consumption, the beans travel to distributors who deliver the final product by land, sea and air to the end user. That’s a lot of teamwork for a cup of joe!
Has coffee ever brought you or your team together? Tell us below!
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