It’s doors open time, well, the ones to the patio anyway! I have been speaking to friends recently about the prospect of meeting up (together, in a bar, with others) and there is a bit of a ‘first day at high school’ feel about it all. No small amount of excitement, a little trepidation and a touch of ‘what if everyone hates me’ all rolled together.

It made me wonder what we could do as an industry to ease the re-entry to our venues and spaces, in lockdown three – the worst of the trilogy in my mind – I read Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titans, which is a summary of his podcast interviews with world class performers.

One of his guests, Gabrielle Reece, who was named one of the “20 Most Influential Women in Sports” by Women’s Sports & Fitness and is best known for her success in volleyball (and who hasn’t exactly stood still afterwards) talks about how she “goes first” when encountering others. She learned to be the one who smiles first, says hello first, makes eye contact first and that the response she gets, in her words, is “pretty amazing”.

It struck a chord with me, I reckon we can all recall a situation (or fifty) in life where we wished we had gone first. For customers, it could be a salve on any first night jitters, and for colleagues, make the workplace that much more welcoming. 

As we all start mixing with actual strangers again, I couldn’t think of a better thing to get better at, a prompt to show a little empathy and kindness may be just the tonic we all need, add a shot of gin to that and off we go! 

Going first, what’s the worst that can happen?