Do you show a kindness to someone every day?

When talking about the travel we did when being much younger, my friend, who prefers traveling solo, and has since she was 14 years old, told me about a time flying to England 40 years later. When she boarded the airplane, she settled in, delighted to have made early plans in order to get the window seat. It wasn’t long before her seatmates, a mother and a young child sat down. The woman looked all around, hoping to find three seats together so her husband could join them for the long, seven-hour flight. He sat across the aisle, a row back, in the middle of two grumpy-looking, complaining men, on either side of him. My friend, remembering how important it was for the family to be together when she was a young married, offered to move. She would exchange her precious window seat so the husband could join them.

Keeping an eye on all her passengers, as flight attendants do, she came over to my friend and remarked. “That was very kind of you to give up a window seat for that family. It’s quite unusual to see that on a flight. Thank you.”

My friend just acknowledged the compliment, surprised that anyone had even noticed. As soon as dinner was over and trays cleared away, the same flight attendant came to her row. She leaned in and handed a napkin-wrapped bottle of wine to her, the same white wine she had at dinner. “Just a little thank you gift,” she said. “It’s so nice to see kindness.” Without any fuss, she went back to her duties.

Kindness generates kindness. What seemed a small thing to my friend was enormous to the family and impressive to the flight attendant. Of course, my friend wasn’t thinking about any acknowledgment or reward, it only seemed the right thing to do. It may have been a small thing that the flight attendant responded to, but it is still remembered by her many years later.

It doesn’t take a college degree or years of training, just a mention during the employees’ weekly discussion or training session. Remember to be kind. When one employee performs a kindness it will reverberate.

Kind Dining♥ training was designed to assist you in honing the skills not just of your food serving team, but all your employees, in building communication between coworkers, residents, and management, using cross-training exercises. These training sessions, now available online, focus on working smarter, with intention. The sessions are friendly and supportive. Change begrudging attitudes to employees who love to come to every work day. Encourage them to show kindness to all persons. Take a close look at your food service team and realize how important they are to your residents, to each other, and to the success of your company.

Be♥ Kind Tip: Kindness that is practiced grows into a natural way of life.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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