Work is stressful.

Tears and headaches are par for course when it comes to being a working adult. Unfortunately, most of it comes more from miscommunication with colleagues rather than simply deadlines.
There are only 2 magic ingredients that you need to improve and reinforce your relationships and communication skills: subconscious association and personal effort. Baking as a bonding activity sets up the perfect scene for you to bring both to the table!

Subconscious Association

1. Sugar and Carbs Trigger Happiness Hormones

One should never underestimate the combined power that sugar and carbs can have on a bad day. As they induce the production of serotonin and dopamine (happiness hormones), the associative relationship exercise between baking and socialising can substitute traditional team building exercises. This leads to effective communication both at work and at home.
Associative relationships is when we use subconscious association to quickly determine our opinion on any particular person, object or situation.
When we consume sugar and carbohydrates we invite the rush of pleasant emotions while you are in the company of another. As humans, we have a tendency to remember emotions more than we do the moments themselves as they pass us by. By introducing this mental link, you can encourage yourself to be more eager at the thought of experiencing more “moments” with them.
Some baked goods that are known to hook the senses are;

  • Cupcakes
  • Croissants
  • Cakes
  • Pizza

2. Bulldoze Awkwardness Using the 5-to-1 Ratio

Dr. Gottman and Robert Levenson theorize that there needs to be a 5-to-1 ratio of good and bad experiences needed to achieve a close bond with another person. This can be practised even within a simple and fun activity. If you and your acquaintances are open to trying out new recipes, facing the unfamiliarity of the dish will triumph over ice-breaker blues and snuff out most feelings of unpleasantness.
Uniting your team or friends to overcome the challenge in the pursuit to ensure that the end result is good communication and relationships at work. By avoiding that super awkward moment that can come with gaps in conversations, you can improve the feelings you have associated with the people that you’re baking with.
All under the all-powerful allure of pastries with a flaky, crumbly texture and the rich, seductive scent of butter…
3. Low consequence environment

There is a concept under communication theories called Social Penetration Theory. This theory explains that people are willing to be more like their private selves when they are more relaxed or comfortable with others. Cooking together can be considered as a bonding activity with a low consequence environment.
When there is less risk of a bad reaction will be more willing to talk about things they wouldn’t tell to a mere acquaintance. There is of course the possibility of this going a bit sideways when someone overshares, but that’s typically a sign of stress, so it’s a good thing you’re here to do some stress baking!

Personal Effort

1. Cooperation leads to rapport

Did you know that the act of baking together encourages communication and cooperation in the workplace as well as your other relationships? These are key areas which are the focus of team building workshops.
So get messy, nothing quite bonds people like chaos!
Flour and sugar inevitably gets everywhere. A sincere group effort to bring about a delectable dessert along with jestful complaints subconsciously builds and enforces the rapport you have with each other.
Well-known game Portal 2 introduces a cooperative campaign wherein 2 robots with limited communicative abilities must work together to solve puzzles. Reflective of real life relationships, once rapport is built with each other the robots begin to have more effective communication with each other as level progression unlocks indicators and expressions.
2. Practice interpersonal skills

It is important to note that while working with others you should slow down communication to ensure that you and companions are on the same page. By making use of skills such as active listening and sympathy you can avoid possible blunders and miscommunication.
As long as you haven’t yet mixed wet and dry ingredients that include an activating agent, take time to double check that with your team/partner about the recipe. Also, some recipes can take hours, or if you’re proofing bread, days. Take the downtime in between the labour to talk with each other and get to know each other better.
3. Be present

Even for people that have known each other for ages, one key factor that can make or break a relationship is presence. By making time to do a team building activity together, you show that you are committed and willing to establish and reinforce good communication grounds.
Even corporations need to practice care for their employees. Employers need to show that they are interested in the well being and development of their staff. To know that your boss cares enough to get to know you can really help build an encouraging and motivating workplace environment.
From macarons to Hokkaido cheese tarts, My Weekend Plan provides various baking short courses that you can join. Let us get to know you as we guide you and your group to make these delectable treats!