Category Archives for Blog

The Service Mindset: Introduction

My quest to understand the state of mind that leads to a love of service is fed by questions like this… What does it consist of? Where does draw its energy from?  How can it be acquired by others? What makes it resilient? What disrupts it? What kinds of mental conditioning prevent someone’s receptivity to it? […]

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Why You Need to Learn How to Trust Your Customers

Originally published here for the Institute for Organizational Mindfulness.  All service roles require trust, but not in the way you might think. It’s the kind of trust that keeps you both emotionally clean and connected to the true value of your work. In dealing with customers and clients, you can bring your best, most professional, […]

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The Celebration Mindset Pt. 3 – Celebrate Happiness…The Right Way

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness (IOM). For both your own fulfillment, and the people you serve, what’s a better service trait than the love of making others happy? Well, the first mistake you can make with this is a tendency towards “outcome-orientation”: the frustration from things not turning out how you […]

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The Celebration Mindset Pt. 1 – Taking Resilience to the Next Level

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. A true person of service lives and works in constant readiness for celebration. I can see this principal getting misinterpreted by my former bar and restaurant colleagues as something to the effect of bartenders doing shots with the clientele. But you’re onto something here: real success […]

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The Best Way To Handle Mistakes in Service? Be Your Own Yoda

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Service is full of mistakes. You’re dealing with endless highly-individual needs, unpredictable particularities, a minefield of emotional triggers that clients will readily punish you for ever-so-slightly feathering an insecurity of theirs. You’re also juggling technical demands and chances are you have the precision of a flesh […]

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The Power of Asking “What is this really costing me?”

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. No service professional likes being run around. We retrace the same task for people who asked for one thing but needed another, we get absorbed by the endless questions of anxious clientele that aren’t even willing to listen to the answers. We carry the water of […]

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Mindful Sales is Service At The Same Time

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Having worked in the restaurant industry for most of my professional life, I’ve taken for granted how unusual it is. Even though its product has a certain universality to it (facilitating some of the most fundamental human needs like food, comfort, and social connection), there are […]

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When You’re Selling Transformation, You’re Serving

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Many that find success and fulfillment in the sales role probably know that they are doing a lot more than selling. On its own, the word “sales” mainly implies a simple monetary exchange: provide a product/service to a customer in exchange for money. What makes that […]

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Heroic Acts of Service

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Periods of great difficulty are always a great time to reflect on what service means to us and the ideas we may have accumulated about it that may need to be revisited. I’m thinking back to an inspiring discussion I recently had with restaurant-owner Albert Bitton […]

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Principles To Re-Inspire How We Approach Modern Service

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness.   Ichi-go Ichi-e is a Japanese parable translating to One Encounter, One Opportunity. It’s become the slogan of the practice of tea ceremony, which for many Asian cultures is the quintessential means of practicing mindfulness through action. It reveals how doing a simple daily ritual with […]

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Mindful Service Is An Inside-Out Game

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Expand Your Communication Skills Have you ever gone to eat somewhere and everything is “perfect”? The person serving you recommends a wine pairing with a sniper’s precision. It arrives with surgically-executed food, both of which are timed like a Swiss monorail. And yet the experience was […]

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Who “Deserves” Good Service

Originally published here for the Institute of Organizational Mindfulness. Charity work is so attractive because of how gratifying it feels to help people who truly need it. The problem with most of the service contexts we face in our professional lives is that we’re not necessarily helping people who seem to “need” it. And sometimes […]

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Self-Hospitality Pt. 5: How To Meditate Effortlessly

Successful meditation is effortless meditation. Not in the way of “I’m such an expert at it that it seems effortless.” You can be effortless during the first meditation you ever do.  Effortlessness doesn’t mean there’s no discomfort. It doesn’t mean you’re having the most luxurious imaginable experience – relaxed, floating beyond the tension of the […]

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Self-Hospitality Pt. 4: Focus Works Differently in Meditation

So when you learn meditation, you’re given something to put your attention. Perhaps it’s your breath or, in my case, a mantra. Your first instinct might be to focus on that thing wholeheartedly. But in meditation ease and openness is truly what gives the practice power, and nothing takes you further from that than the […]

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Self-Hospitality Pt. 1: Meditation Essentials

Because, y’know, we’re all monks now. Welcome to the new series Self-Hospitality. Its purpose is to give you everything you need to get the most out of meditation, self-care and this fresh new life we get to live with such powerful tools at our disposal. The weekly tools and principles I share will help you […]

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Being Yourself When You Serve (Part II)

This article stands alone, but also serves as an extension of themes discussed in of part I. The Case of the Two-Faced Server. One of the most prominent bits of restaurant industry lore concerns an idea that the servers that are the most gracious, sweet and beloved by their guests are the vile once they […]

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Being Yourself When You Serve (Part I)

Powerful Ways The Service Environment Reveals & Tests Our Ability to Be Our Authentic Selves Probably the most played out bit of wisdom we get from people of all positions and disciplines is encouragement to “just be you” rather than whatever you think people expect of you.  It’s something we always do well to be […]

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Welcome To The Family: Hospitality As A Spiritual Practice

Originally written for the Be Here Now Network.  Check it out here. A 2007 study by political scientist RD Putnam discovered that people are more likely to socially retreat when in ethnically diverse environments.  Our tendency to hide away and avoid connecting to those that seem different than us was the focus of Grace Rodriguez’ […]

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Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

In different stages of life, we all have holes in our game that we hope others don’t see.  “Impostor syndrome” is the belief that we are riddled with deficiencies. That we are fundamentally lacking in something (i.e. reliable skills) that makes us the useful, valuable human we are somehow obligated to be – and we’re just around the corner from being found out.  The most successful people on the planet continue to get struck by this feeling every time they put themselves out there in a big way.  But, everyday, even the smallest interactions can trigger it.

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The Ego Is Not What You Think It Is: 3 Ways To Make It Your Friend

The ego is often misunderstood as something you need to get rid of. It’s more like a part of you that needs to be kept healthy. Those mystical experiences where the ego “dissolves” is more of a chokehold being released from your true self – the ego’s still there, just non-attached, not defining and limiting your experience. 

I discuss the unexpected ways that “enlarging” it helps you break out of its limitations. And provide some useful techniques that you can use to strengthen your ego so you can serve everything better and just generally live your full potential.

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One Encounter, One Opportunity: How Modern Bartenders Realized That It’s Not About Making Great Drinks.

My first love affair with service and restaurants was with bartending just as it was becoming a highly respected craft in the Western world. However, the eastern approach revealed how much we were missing. How the Japanese Way of Tea and the one-pointed path of the Shokunin is just beginning to reveal the possibilities of serving as true hospitality people.

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