Is Kindness the Answer?

Maybe when you are unhappy it is better to go out for a walk instead of feeding your unhappiness with a plate of pie a la mode. In a study conducted at Iowa State University, students were directed to walk around campus for 12 minutes and practice one of three different techniques to lower anxiety. The first set (loving-kindness) was to look at people and think sincerely “I wish for this person to be happy.”  The second group (inter-connectedness) was to look at each person they saw and wonder if they might have something in common. The third group (downward social comparison) was to think if they were better off than those they met.

Results showed that offering kindness to others gave the student extending well-wishes higher feelings of caring, happiness, empathy, and lowered anxiety.  The second group resulted only in effects of beneficial social connection. The third group had no beneficial effects.

Think of happiness filling your community dining room when your serving team extends positive thoughts of wellness to each person they meet. Anxiety and stress between food servers would be replaced with laughter and joy. New residents would be greeted graciously and invited to sit with those who are already comfortable in the dining room. Food servers would naturally and automatically help their coworkers without waiting to be asked, when help was needed. When people are happy they open up, inviting conversations that find solutions on how best to decrease conflicts with caregivers that resist the new mode of adding serving meals to their responsibilities. This leans toward all food serving staff working as a team to create a happier environment for the residents. It’s all about kindness to each person you meet in your working day.

If your community has similar needs in learning how to have all your food servers happy and working together as a team, Kind Dining® can help. Kindness and all it entails is at the heart of Kind Dining® training. Opening conversations can help a colleague with poor work habits learn how to improve them with confidence instead of criticism. Food servers who have insecurity problems due to less experience or lack of good training will learn easier and happily with good leadership showing the way with positive encouragement. Silence and holding insecurities for fear of losing your job only creates more problems. Replacing unhappy employees who do not perform their work as expected are costly and time consuming to replace. The company benefits overall with a well-trained food serving team.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember your vision to build stronger mealtime relationships.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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