Saturday, July 15, 2006

New Skills, New Mind

Learning new skills requires that one takes on a whole new mindset. This has been made clearer than ever as I learn to take orders and call and make drinks with Starbucks. I've found that when I see the big picture, I can better see how all the pieces fit together. Somehow, this helps me create a new mindset as a partner at Starbucks.

For example, my first training module taught me how to operate the POS or cash register. It was when I spent a couple of hours in this position that I realized how much I did NOT know about Starbucks beverages. I would often be dumbstruck when a customer ordered a drink I was not familiar with. It was frustrating for a big Starbucks fan like me to be ignorant of terms like "ristretto" and "doppio espresso." But I kept pluggin away making slow but sure progress.

Until my learning coach (a wonderful concept!) gave me some bar training. Well, knowing how to make the drinks now is helping me to better understand what customers are ordering! I also am much more comfortable calling the drinks (there is a particular way we call our drinks called "barista-speak"). Bar knowledge helped me make sense of what I needed to do on the register.

I'm not as fast calling or making the drinks yet. But I can sense that my mind is reaaranging itself into the Starbucks paradigm. I'm starting to get visions of the bar and mentally rehearse how many pumps of syrup a Venti Vanilla Latte gets and how many shots of espresso too. When I started a few weeks ago, someone did mention that I'd eventually start having dreams of making drinks. I didn't know that they were gonna be open visions!

This experience helps me to better appreciate the kind of uneasiness people have when we propose to do church differently or when we ask them to change a behavior in llifestyle. If we're going to catalyze change, its best we start by helping people get the big picture and how all the different parts work together before getting into the details.

No comments: