On the couch: a blog on running a successful kitchen from performance psychologist Mike Duckett

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th April 2014
This is one in a bi-monthly series of blogs from performance psychologist Mike Duckett of Coaching for Success, helping chefs to raise their games in the kitchen. f   WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE HAPPEN? What would you like to have happen? This is something I’m always asking clients and very often they don’t know. If you stop and ask yourself this now, would you know? The answer you might well give – because most of us do – is some statement about what is happening right now, rather than what you would like to happen in the future. A typical conversation will go something like this: Q. “What would you like to have happen?” (A question about your future) A. “Well at the moment my sous chef is off sick and we just can’t cope” (a thought about the present). This may be because most of the time we are attempting to achieve some sort of goal but we do it unconsciously and like most unconscious behaviour, when asked to think about it, it gets harder! When you go to the fridge to make yourself a sandwich you are moving towards an un-stated goal, Signpost of Timesomething along the lines of wanting to stop the hunger pangs. You don’t need to state your goal and make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound) just to get a sandwich! However when it comes to the more important stuff of life and work, it is definitely worth thinking a bit more about not just what you want to have happen, but how you’re communicating this desire to yourself and others. Believe it or not, in the world of performance psychology there are over 20 officially different types of goal! There are approach goals; avoidance goals; process goals; outcome goals; distal goals etc etc. I won’t bore you with the full list but I think you get the gist – this is a serious subject. The point is that how you think about what you want to achieve will affect how you behave when you try to achieve it and of course, how you behave in turn affects your chances of achieving it. So let’s go back to the conversation above. After we realise we’re thinking about the present and not a goal for the future, the next question might be: Q. “So when your sous chef is off sick and you can’t cope, what would you like to have happen?” MC900444669   This should get you thinking about the future and let’s say your next thought is: A. “Well I want to stop losing my temper and shouting when we’re under pressure during service.” Sound like a goal? Maybe you could set off to develop your ability not to shout etc. However, this actually sounds like what’s called ‘a dead man’s goal’. This is a goal that a corpse could always achieve better than a living person: a corpse will NEVER lose its temper and shout during service! So, rule number 1: Set yourself living human goals e.g. “to remain calm and collected when under pressure in service” (something a corpse could never do!).       Mike DuckettMike Duckett has a degree in psychology and is a member of the Occupational Psychology division, the Sports Psychology division & the Coaching Psychology Special Group of the British Psychological Society. He holds a diploma in Hypnotherapy & Cognitive therapy and is a certified NLP coach. With over 20 years experience he was one of the pioneers of applying performance psychology to coach people in the hospitality industry to get the best from themselves,  in areas such as creativity; leadership; optimism etc. As a certified NLP Coach and ANLP Accredited Master Practitioner, Mike has clients ranging from world renowned chefs, restaurateurs & sommeliers to up and coming staff in both the kitchen and front of house. You can see more of Mike's blogs at coachforsuccess.wordpress.com
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th April 2014

On the couch: a blog on running a successful kitchen from performance psychologist Mike Duckett