When asked to teach a group of airline crews Japanese hospitality by demonstrating tea ceremony, I was not sure what to do. The venue is a conference room at their office…. Not much space to set all the tea utensils. Won’t it be boring for the crews to simply watch somebody making a bowl of tea and the other drinking it?
So we came up with a different format. “Let’s role-play!”
Everybody was paired with another person. First one person played a role of a host, and the other as a guest. The host serves a plate of sweets and then serves a bowl of tea. The guest receives the plate and the bowl. Once the host serves and tea to the guest, and the guest enjoys the sweets and the tea, we do it again, this time changing the role of the host and the guest.
How to hold a tea bowl, when to bow, what to say… And more importantly, why that action?
I hope everybody enjoyed this short workshop. And I hope they remember at least one thing that they can implement when they serve their customers up in the air next time.