image1
Food brings people together, breaks down barriers and promote diversity through the different food cultures.

In a bid to promote team bonding, more and more companies are using cooking to foster bonds and integrate members of their departments. Some companies even make it an annual affair, for their staff to come together, unwind and cook themselves a good meal, celebrating recent successes and also to forecast for the future.

Such activites have received positive feedback, especially for workers that seldom get a chance to interact with their senior management. As a result, these companies grow closer, closing the gap between the executives and senior management.

So what happens during a Team Bonding event with Culinary involved?

Communication
A common phrase goes like this, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

It is impossible to go fast, alone in a team. Everyone must learn to communicate, to share and contribute to the idea. The location can be in a kitchen, or in a meeting room. It is essential that everyone contributes and communicates with one another, thus reducing the fricition and increasing the synergy amongst the team.

Communication is a basic and necessary skill in life. Should one be unable to communicate effectively, his ideas and thoughts may be misintepreted and misunderstood.

Thus communicating during a cooking event is just as important. It allows participants to brainstorm, to contribute ideas, to discuss and debate on all the possible options available, and ultimately communicating with each other with their preferences.

Delegation
Even the most skilled chefs in the world require some sort of assistance from their sous chefs. Likewise, nominated team leaders during a cooking team bonding program can also learn how to delegate duties. Instead of a one-man show, doing everything for the team, the delegation of duties makes the greatest difference between a effective team and an ineffective team.

Delegating tasks also empowers the rest of the team, gives others the responsibility to do their best for the team, that their contribution is absoutely necessary.

With this empowerment, individuals are given the opporunity to shine and creatively express their ideas to solve the problem. Likewise, in the team bonding event, participants often come up with creative solutions when given the empowerment. The lack of colours on a dish can be creatively solved by cutting green pepper or carrots, adding a variety of colours to the dish.

Lastly, how food and team bonding can benefit companies is Presentation
When everyone finishes cooking their dishes, the resident chef of D’Open Kitchen would get the participants to think of ways to introduce their dish. Marks will be given to the most creative dish with the most creative explaination.

Presentation skills can be honed as the participants take turns to introduce their dishes and “up-sell” their dish. This creates windows of opportunties for participants to speak in front of their colleagues, thus creating a safe environment for colleagues to learn and understand each other more.

Cooking, to many is quite an uphill task. But when this challenge is faced by a team that learns how to communicate and delegate duties effectively, Presentating the dish would not be a problem for them because with every dish cames a story of how they overcome the challenges.