By Noah Parks
Mindfulness gets a lot of air time and lots of my friends discuss it now. When I was growing up I thought of it being a superpower. “I have mindfulness control over you!” Obviously that’s what happens when you grow up in a small town in the midwest that also banned Yoga until they figured out what all the fuss was about. However, now, after over 15 years in hospitality and almost a decade in “the City” I’ve evolved. Mindfulness is about being present and in the moment without losing time focused on your ego or living in a fantasy world. “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present,” and I encourage everyone to check out this site to get started on their personal understanding of mindfulness.
I’m spending more time on my own well being by being more empathetic, spending less time on selfish or self-centered thinking. It frees up a lot of headspace when you let go of your ego and embrace a practice of mindfulness. One of the key components of being a major solution for New York City staffing challenges is being mindful, then bringing that to your entire business model. From marketing, to Human Resources, to service professionals and client relations, HMG+ is a company that has a healthy relationship with mindfulness.
Far from a trend or a fad, this is a turning point for hospitality generally. As I’ve discussed before we have a commitment to community and providing a welcoming place for clients, guests, and service professionals. Mindfulness is the turnkey that unlocks all that potential for service professionals. As this article says, “Mindfulness training also helps employees respond thoughtfully instead of merely reacting”. In our goal to build community we need to be proactive and doing that means anticipating guests needs by being in the present. When you take extra time or shift the burden of need onto the guest to constantly be a “squeaky wheel” then you will see diminished dining room culture. This low morale among guests is infectious. However, so is a positive attitude, therefore it’s incumbent upon companies to promote mindfulness in order to provide excellent service for the guest.
HMG+ is renowned for our commitment to excellent service and mindfulness is just another tool in our tool belt to maintain that commitment. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be mindful then I recommend taking five minutes to do this short activity. Take a raisin or another small piece of fruit like a raspberry or dried apricot. Hold it in your hand and examine it carefully, with your entire attention consider the following: The way the raisin looks; How it feels; How the skin responds to its manipulation; Its smell; Its taste. When you’re finished take a moment to notice how your focus was, did your mind wander? The point is to be present with what is right in front of you. Often in hospitality we are faced with many very important tasks, however we are able to only do one thing at a time. We must focus on that one task and complete it at a high level. No matter how some may appear to multi-task, the mind can only perform one cognitive function at a time.
It’s important to remember when we get stressed out or start to live in a fantasy world of, usually negative, possibilities to focus on the present. What can you accomplish right now to be successful today. If you put together a lot of days where you’ve focused on what you can accomplish right now, today, then that possibility, hopefully positive, will come to fruition. HMG+ as THE staffing solution in New York City and the Tri-State area have become a leader through practicing mindfulness in all their various moving parts from our corporate office culture, to service professionals, and in our own personal lives. I hope you’ll take some time to practice mindfulness and check out our practices soon!