1. 1. Positive Reinforcement
Third-grade teachers masterfully trick crazed children into learning with gold stars, stickers and other intangible rewards. Bosses replace gold stars with one-on-one lunches and shout-outs at office meetings. Positive reinforcement: it never stops working.
2. 2. Getting-to-Know-You Games and Trust Falls
Whether you find yourself in a third-grade classroom on the first day of school or on a company retreat led by a guy named Bob wearing a captain’s hat, get ready for lots of getting-to-know-you games and trust falls. Probably too many.
3. 3. Lunch Breaks
If you don’t want a group of people to riot, you need to provide an adequate lunch break. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about eight year-olds or 38 year-olds. Folks will go nuts if you deprive them of their sloppy joes.
4. 4. Holiday Cheer
As soon as December 1st hits, third-graders drift off to fantasies of all the sweet snow they’ll get to play with during the holiday break. In offices, the anticipation of a 4-day holiday weekend is even more powerful. Scrooge bosses fight against the holiday cheer. Smart ones embrace it—people are simply happier when wearing a Santa hat.
5. 5. Sugar Bribes
We’re pretty much a slave to sugar from day one. SUGARRRRR! Let’s crush up some candy canes at the holiday party tonight and rage.
6. 6. Special Helpers
Whether you’re running a classroom, a paper company, or a rogue crime-fighting unit, everyone needs a special helper to help grab coffee and make copies. Give your special helper a special helper costume, and he’ll be yours forever.
7. 7. Wearing glasses
The powerful authority of a third-grade teacher’s glasses lasts with a student a long time, until one day he or she enters a position of authority and immediately runs to Warby Parker, before brainstorming tiny ways to ruin your life.
8. 8. Communicates warmth through festive ties
You can’t be an asshole if there’s a festive pattern on your tie. FACT.
9. 9. Nap Time
In some awesome schools, you still get nap time in the third-grade. You also get nap time if you work at a the magical Silicon Valley tech company like Groupon, where nap rooms are standard and rivers of guacamole flow through conference rooms.