As a leader you assume the responsibility for developing and inspiring your team. What if you were to develop upon this idea and take an active role in moulding the reality that your team live and experience?

Reality is your perception of the events, issues, information and emotions you are experiencing. Your understanding and interpretation of your experiences create your world. Working the long hours of a chef means that your team’s lives and reality involve their work environment to a great degree as it accounts for so much of their daily life, thoughts and social interaction.

Providing your team with a positive energy at work by inspiring them, breeding a sense of self confidence and developing a winner’s attitude will allow them to reach their greatest potential and strive for continuous improvement. In harvesting your teams intellectual capital you can build a team of solid, confident and driven individuals, motivated by the belief in themselves as being part of a winning team, as this is what all their senses are telling them they are part of.

The following are a few ideas on how a team can be brought together by an underlying sense of achievement, deliberately yet subtly diffused into the kitchen.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision: Before you can develop on team building and goal setting, you need to make sure that you communicate to everyone in your team, your vision. How do you see your world? What direction are you leading the team towards and towards what purpose? What are the challenges? How will you achieve your vision? How will you and the team know when you get there? What are the incentives for the individual / team?
  • Set achievable targets and progress from there. Allow the team to experience a sense of accomplishment as a unit by setting realistic, but challenging targets, which can be progressively set higher over time. Achieving their target or goal whether it be a daily challenge of running a flawless service, winning an award (no matter how modest the accolade) or getting a great review, will encourage each individual to perceive themselves as part of a successful unit, thus building self worth, high morale and focused individuals with a clear sense of purpose.
  • Instill confidence in each individual. Taking a structured approach to your team’s training and development will allow you to assess their abilities better and further coach them towards building upon their strengths and overcoming any weaknesses they have. The better their performance and contribution to the team effort, the greater their sense of confidence and pride will become, in turn this will have an impact on the job they do and take them through the upward spiral.
  • Keep the team in touch with reality. Make sure you offer your chefs the opportunity to dine in the restaurant every now and again, allow them to experience the experience they themselves are producing for others everyday. How can you offer a service that you don’t regularly experience yourself, how do you develop an understanding of how the fine details effect the overall result? If all your team sees is the BOH (Back Of House) all they will ever think about is the BOH, and what they need to keep in the forefront of their minds, is that results of their work lie in the front of house, in the customers’ perception of the dining experience.

If they see it, they will believe it; if they believe it they will act it.

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