Working with hotel, restaurant staff: mindfulness practice

Have you ever woken up to loud sounds of cleaning in a hotel or winced from clattering dishes in a restaurant? 
We wish to see the present staff present everywhere: in any service and hospitality establishments. What does “present” mean: attentive, understanding what is happening.
The basis for the development of these skills is inner emotional calmness, which can be achieved and maintained by the mindfulness practice — simple exercises that employees can do right in the workplace, absolutely without being distracted from their duties.

  • The easiest way to get back to where you are is to breathe. Our attention in the waking state is always drawn to something. You need to direct it to breath.
  • Then you can direct your attention to your movements: for example, if you are walking, then to the process of walking, directing attention to the leg that you step on the floor. You can even say to yourself: left, right, left, right.
  • If you are sitting: direct your attention to the body, to the sensations in the arms, legs, you may be tired or feel irritated.
  • You can choose what it is more convenient for you to focus on: on sensations in the body, on walking, on sounds around, on taste sensations while eating, on emotional sensations. In all these cases, the practice will work effectively.


The practice of mindfulness has practical applications.

Take hotel or restaurant staff, for example. We have observed more than once how people move furniture not carefully, wash the floor or fold dishes, creating an unpleasant noise. Most likely, such a person is very far away in his thoughts and does not fully realize what he is doing and how he vibrates into the world. Instead of prohibiting “no noise”, it is much more effective to invite the person to focus on the sounds they are making.

Here is such a practical task for the maid *:

“During the cleaning, she should know that a person is sleeping in the next room or on the floor below (even if he is not there), and her task is not to wake him up”.
Automatically, she will become more mindful, since her attention will be focused on what is happening.

Give a similar task to waiters and bartenders in a restaurant: their task is not to disturb busy guests or a sleeping baby.
Another technique: the staff pronounces aloud or silently the actions being taken. For example, a maid, when cleaning, realize in words what she is doing: “mine, I’m sweeping”; the waiter be aware what he is doing: “I am going, I am standing.”

You can incorporate these things into job descriptions and they will work.

The more often a person practices, the higher his awareness will become, the easier it will be for him to control attention and the better he will control himself.

It is important that this practice improves work processes, as it helps to calm the person, return to the present moment and get the job done more efficiently. The person present is the one who is Here and Now, no matter how trite it may sound.

The maid is probably the most important person in the hotel. Because she does the cleaning, she appears in the rooms more often than the other staff, and greatly affects the atmosphere, as each person vibrates into space. And to do cleaning in a space is, in a sense, to recreate a new atmosphere in it every time, which means the same as a new world. Therefore, teaching the maids to practice mindfulness comes first.

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