#39 Food – a manager’s best friend

From the hidden power of the humble custard cream to the value of fancy restaurants, Pilar and Tim explore the role that food can play in our leadership practice. This is not discussed in business school curriculums, but something changes when we make the conscious step to stop our work activities so we can share food together. Eating together can be a powerful way to change the atmosphere of a workplace.

1:00min Pilar shares her brilliant theory of how bringing custard cream biscuits to a meeting can fulfil all five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

2:00 Tim remembers a time where he tried to use food to lighten a work situation but misjudged the appropriate quantity.

5:30 Food can be used as motivation (or a bribe!).

8:00 It’s not just managers who can use food as part of their toolkit. Kevin, Pilar’s husband, has been organising picnics as a way to help his teammates feel connected to each other.

9:00 Even in distributed environments we can still have shared food experiences. Although eating on camera is not for everyone.

12:30 Food can be a way for people to share different aspects of themselves into a work context, for example their cultural heritage.

14:00 Almost everyone gets excited about free or unexpected food and drink. A little later we wonder what changes in workplaces where all the food is free all the time.

17:30 Pilar has enjoyed some facilitation sessions which kicked off over lunch as a way to create a relaxed atmosphere.

20:15 We share how sometimes food was used to drive behaviours within our workplaces. For example intentionally providing breakfast to get people in early or lunches to keep the group together during a day of intense collaboration.

We are curious about you, dear listener? What is your relationship with food at work? We’d love to hear from you.


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