Kind Dining training insight #1, #2 of 2009

Flying into Missoula was a bumpy ride, but I felt surprisingly calm for me! I was excited to get there to teach Kind Dining training, and was determined to put this roller coaster like plane ride in a new context, as part of my normal commute to work!

Kind Dining classes are designed to teach servers as a mixed group from all departments, nursing, foodservice, housekeeping, etc. Many in my classes are between the ages of 16-22, and many are in their first job, and/or serving meals to elderly residents for the first time. Working with teens and young adults brings a new dimension into our discussion, and I find that few in this age group receive server training specific to serving our elders needs.

The staff in Missoula was very welcoming. We had 18 people in our 2-day training session. I learn something new with each group of learners I teach and I will share those insights over the next several days.

Sometimes it is hard to know if as an instructor we are striking a chord with the group. One of the young women in this session was just cute and I would guess around 17. She was required to be there of course, and looked half interested in moments. At other times, she acted tired and was dressed in jeans and a hoody, which she wore over her head most of the time. However, when we got to Module 7 and Emotion control, she asked two of the most informative questions of the day…..

Here is the first: “What do we say when a resident starts sharing their personal information with us?” And second; How do I act when a resident is rude? She explained she was taking an order at a table in the independent dining room and a resident who came late to the table behind her, actually reached over, pulled and untied her apron strings, saying in a loud voice; ” You can take my order now, I am ready.”

I’ll share how we answered these questions in tomorrows blog.

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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