How Often Does Your Team Eat Together?
By Royal Reed
I did not realise how much it affected me until I look back now on my management style over the years. Growing up in Taiwan, there is a very big part of my growing up involve going to many meal appointments with the adults. Mum and dad were teachers and it is common in the Taiwanese cultures that they are invited to students graduation, getting jobs, weddings, and having their first child. These invitations continue even long after they have left the classrooms. With eating together, the relationship, and sense of belonging just grow and blossom.
Some of my other family members who are in senior management roles introduced me to a lifestyle where lunches and dinners are much more a regular courtesy from the employers. There were a lot of regular dinners to celebrate festivals, good financial performance, people joining, people leaving, and other times, simply get together because everyone enjoys it.
The Taiwanese cultures pride on showing our care and heart for people by feeding them. Instead of greeting with “hello” or “good day”, our standard greeting is “have you eaten to your heart’s content”? It is also comforting and healing to feed our team when life or work has been tough, and family have been kept apart due to demands of life, or when the challenges are real.
Since I started to look after my own legal team, I started to notice how much I organically adopted the same in cherishing my own team. We gather the team with food, and the care naturally flows within the team.
We sometimes go to a new restaurants that the Denizen magazine has shared and raved about. We also regularly visit our familiar regulars to fix noodle cravings. Message me if you like Prestige Law approved list of eateries that have proven to be beneficial for team building and foodie training at Prestige Law.
For morning tea or afternoon drinks, we prefer to opt to support our clients new retail outlets of tea houses, Taiwanese bakery, Chinese steam buns or dessert houses. Our active traveller clients also spoil us with their new finds from overseas or from their new innovation developed from their orchids in New Zealand. Enjoying what they shared with us allow us to understand how they communicate their appreciation and trust, despite their shared difficulties with English.
We also cook at work weekly with our rice cooker and simple homemade soup. When guests come for lunch, we have developed internal talent pool where legal staff had become also expert in putting together a Prestige platter to suit, with our trialled and tested menu, catered by our beloved Japanese chef. (Check out the real life picture from our Prestige platter of Gyoza, Nigiri Salmon, and Green Tea Chiffon cake in the photo above!)
Food recharges people. Time spent eating together, appreciating those who planned and laboured for the food strengthened our bond and our care for one another. We became more than professional colleagues. We are a team that share everything.