The kitchen table that is.
We have heard many times that we are what we eat. But how about who we eat with?
People who eat together simply do more together.
When it comes to team building there is a lot to learn by observing shared living communities. Cohousings and colivings around the world might differ in size, values, concepts and rent but there is one thing they all have in common: the importance they give to their residents eating together. Canadian architect and Cohousing expert Grace Kim says it all here:
"The easiest way to start building a community is simply to eat together. Breaking bread is a human action. " [...] "those that eat together more frequently, exhibit higher levels of communitas. It turns out, when you eat together, you start planning more activities together. When you eat together, you share more things".
So before we go off and plan intricate team building activities and game (which can be a lot of fun too of course), we always advise to really think through those meals:
Dedicate enough time. Don't rush through them to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes the napkin is the drawing board.
Gather your tribe. Unless purposely planned that way, do not let everyone go off and scater around for lunch/dinner. The meal is an integral part of your program. Think ahead about the location and how to lead everyone there.
Food is glue. It is not just about sitting together around the table. Give thoughts about what food will be served. What you feed your people show how much you care about them. Plus it is a great and simple way to implement sustainable thinging by working with local producers and businesses.
Give buffet a chance - Indeed, going a step further, apparently those who share their food are better at collaborating.
Good company, good health
Last but not least, good company is not just good for the company (see what we did here?) but for your tem members' health as well. It has been scientifically proven that eating with others is better not just for your well being but for your guts!
Apparently people tend to eat more greens and less unealthy snacks throughout the day when they eat with others. And as we share stories and enjoy each other's company we are allowing for more time for digestion and often are more mindful of what is being served, even more so when we have cooked together beforehand.
So seat back, relax, and enjoy that team building meal under the trees.