A bar is a drinking establishment that is geared for the common person. The bar is the business and is also the counter that the bartender stands behind. A fern bar is an upscale or preppy bar. In early days of courtrooms the bar was the divider between the public and the various players. A new lawyer must pass a bar exam in order to be allowed to practice law. A lawyer can also be ‘called to the bar’ when they are qualified to practice law
To bar someone is to stop them from entering and yet, in the legal profession, it is the bar that must be passed and that the lawyer can be called to. I’m thinking that bar is a cousin to the word barrier. What say you? Oh, and then we have barrister. Hmmm? The bar can be set high, meaning difficult to get past or over and set low if we wish. Someone is constantly deciding on the height of the bar in this or that situation
A bar can be a cylinder made of metal. It can be used to ‘bar’ the door or to be a lever to lift the edge of something heavy or when pounded into the ground as a stake or marker. Then there is the one about the guy who walked into a bar… ending up with a need for three stitches in his forehead. A sushi bar is quite a different thing from a sand bar, different again from a singles bar
When the cowboys were branding cattle to mark them as their own, one of the elements of the symbol was to use a short bar, with other symbols to make a unique brand. The best one I have seen is called ‘bar none’ with a bar above a circle, which means we welcome all. I like that. When we bar someone or some group we do not allow them in. The use of the word bar can also suggest we’ll use a bar to keep you out. Oh oh
I see setting the bar, the standard, the entry level as a truly powerful concept. Having set the bar, what happens to my mindset? In my experience I find myself checking in and comparing the situation to test whether we are clearing the bar. In a team, if the bar is clearly defined, it can be motivating and provide a common point of decision making. If the bar is a bit of a stretch to clear, can be good. If too high or low, not so.