Chef – What is YOUR communication secret?

By Martin Probst, Learning & Development Whiz at Leading Chef Academy


Have you been wondering why you can talk easily with some people, and others you struggle to connect with?

If your answer is yes, then you must read this blog and familiarize yourself with the following strategy.


Communication chunking modelThis method describes how to master the art of effective communication by controlling the flow of conversation or ideas from abstract to specific, and vice versa. This flow is called “chunking” in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) terms. This fantastic tool is vital for you to understand if you want to become a Leading Chef and get more understanding and trust from your managers and work colleagues.

Many communication breakdowns or misunderstandings are simply caused by mismatched “chunk” sizes.

As an example: Luke may use smaller chunks (specific) than Jack (abstract) and regards him as vague and “too out there” when he talks. Jack may see Luke as terribly boring and “caught up in detail.”

During a shift hand over, Jack will talk about the functions that are happening during the next shift (outcome / overall goals), while Luke is only interested in specific information on tasks on hand and how to cook individual recipes (process / specifics, step by step).

It is incredibly beneficial to be able to “chunk” when you need to improve communication. When talking to someone using big chunks (abstract), you can ask the question, “What, specifically…?” to get more details. When talking to someone using small chunks (abstract), you can ask, “What is the intention of this?” to encourage larger chunks.


Are you looking for educational resources tailored to Executive chefs and their kitchen brigade? Then check out our online education & training solutions here.


So, your effective communication skills are based on your ability to chunk up and down as easily and effortlessly as possible. The faster you can do this, the better you become at “thinking outside the box” and people will define you as an excellent communicator. They will understand you due to your ability to match their chunk level, and your guidance into the required direction by asking the right questions, rather than telling your staff information on a chunk level they don’t understand.

The secret of communication is not about what you say – It’s about the reply you get.

When you witness executives’ discussions on Business Planning, Marketing strategies, trends etc., you will realize that these conversations are very highly chunked up into the abstract and long term planning. Trying to get specifics at this point in time is not going to help the vision to move forward. On the other hand, dreaming big all the time without being able to chunk down into specifics to move towards the desired outcome won’t be useful either. True leading Executive chefs have the thinking flexibility to climb up and down on demand at appropriate times.

This technique is very simple but highly effective. Go and try it out yourself and be surprised by your results…


Gaining Trust and Respect Plan Ahead 3D coverGaining Trust and Respect Get the Foundation right 3D cover

If you want to get more information on communication and other highly beneficial strategies you need as a ‘Leading Chef’ then, then check out our resources here.


Check out the interview with Glenn Wright, Executive Chef Hilton South Wharf Melbourne.

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By Martin Probst

In a nutshell, Martin Probst is the Managing Director of LEADING CHEF ACADEMY. He is not interested in teaching you how to suck eggs and is convinced that you are a top banana if it comes to your cooking ability. His mission is to add to your existing kitchen experience a blend of innovative LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT & ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS skills, so you can taste the success you deserve for all the hard work you put into your career over the years. His vision is to connect modern chefs around the globe and take them to the next level with our online education & training solutions.

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