The Hotel General Manager had asked me to give a Training Event on the importance of cooperation and teamwork between the Restaurant and Kitchen teams, since neither group had a particularly high regard for the other in the Hotel, and the lack of cohesion and goodwill was hampering effectiveness and morale (carry on reading or watch the video).

The Kitchen staff constantly moaned about the Restaurant people ‘doing their own thing’ and ‘failing to work as a Team’; and the Restaurant people said that the Kitchen people are all ‘idle specialists who were always wasting their time at exhibitions and agency lunches’ and have ‘never done a decent day’s work in their lives’.

Being a lover of rugby, I decided to finish the Training using the analogy of a rugby team’s forwards and backs working together to achieve the best overall team’s performance ….

“…So, just as in the game of Rugby, the Forwards, like the Restaurant department, do the initial work to create the platform and to make the opportunities, and then pass the ball out to the Backs, the Kitchen department, who then use their skills and energy to score the tries. The Forwards and the Backs, just like Restaurant and Kitchen, are each good at what they do: and they work together so that the team wins…” I said, finishing the talk.

The audience seemed to respond positively and the training event finished.

I asked the General Manager what he’d thought of the analogy – had it given him food for thought?

“Yes, I see what you mean,” said the General Manager, “It does make sense. The Restaurant people – the Forwards, yes? need the Kitchen department – the Backs, yes? – to make the opportunities for us, so that we, can go and score the tries – to win the business. We work together as a team – each playing our own part – working as a team.”

I was extremely happy and nodded enthusiastically, only to be utterly shocked when the General Manager added as an afterthought, “I still think most of our Food and Beverage Department are idle and talentless…”

I assure you this is a true story.

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