June 4, 2014
A Lesson from Gandhi

Chef Natalie and her Culinary Arts Class

Yesterday, as I was walking through the kitchens toward the end of the morning shift classes, I noticed several students walking around with blue painter’s tape on the backs of their chef-coats.

When I walked into the kitchen where Chef Natalie’s Culinary Arts class was working, I saw that each of the students in the class was wearing a piece of blue tape with writing. When I asked Chef Natalie to explain to me what was going on, she let me know that the group was studying food from India that day and she had given them a team building exercise inspired by Gandhi.

Here’s what Chef Natalie had to say:
When talking about India yesterday, we talked about Gandhi and how he taught people to appreciate one another. So, I decided to ask for everyone to think not about himself or herself, but about other people.

We put a piece of tape on the backs of all of the students and they each wrote a positive trait that each student had on his or her back. No, you couldn’t see your own piece of tape while this is happening. You can only see the pieces of tape on the backs of your teammates. So you’re left looking to others and being inspired by their good traits. Then at the end of the day, you were able to take off your piece of tape and see the good traits that others see in you.

The main lesson, I guess, from this is for everyone not to think so much of himself or herself, but to appreciate everyone and their good qualities. I think as a result of that, the whole group was inspired to wear the traits that were being written about them. It was so cool to see them having their spirits lifted and appreciating each other.

It’s definitely a great team building exercise for them to learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and to even realize that they themselves can affect other people by using their strengths to work together.