A Hotel Manager’s office is a busy place, and Staff often have to queue up just to see their Hotel Manager. Time is precious, and apparently time is something which Hotel Managers and staff can never have enough of (carry on reading or watch the video).
Making the most of this time and communicating well is critical. I have worked with many Hotel Managers, and many more Staff. What I’ve come to realise is that some basic parameters at the beginning of a visit can make the difference between a great experience and a poor one for both parties.
I recommend the following steps to help Hotel Managers become more effective communicators. These steps could be relevant for all Hotel office staff:
1) Refer to the staff member by name. It seems like a very small matter, but it means a lot to the person to whom you are speaking.
2) Make eye contact. The member of staff have often been waiting days, or weeks, and may be very anxious. Eye contact from everyone, makes a huge difference.
3) And along with eye contact … Smile and say hello. Greet each member of staff with a smile. If putting the member of staff at ease is a priority, smiling and saying hello goes a long way.
4) Sit down. Towering over a member of staff can be physically intimidating. Sitting down makes what can be a distressing experience a bit less harrowing. It can create warmth and eliminate a barrier.
5) Breathe and listen. Ensure you listen to all the member of staff has to say before you begin to speak. When it comes to your turn to talk, take a moment to breathe and listen again at intervals, as this will help you to recognise whether the member of staff understood you or not.
6) Reflect and clarify. Restate the information that was shared to be sure that you got it right and have understood correctly. This not only shows interest and respect, it ensures both the member of staff and Hotel Manager are talking about the same topics.
7) Ask yourself if the member of staff appears comfortable. Pay attention to the member of staff’s demeanour, body language as well as their tone of voice and rate of speech. If they appear stressed or fearful then try to calm them. Getting them comfortable and relaxed will help that member of staff open up and share more information, making it easier to get a feel for what might be going on.
8) Consider your own tone and rate of speech. As Hotel Managers you might be dealing with the most sensitive of subjects and information. A slower pace, with a calm, warm tone, and an easy-to-follow pace can go a long way.
9) Be clear. Clarity is crucial. Using a term because it is correct is the right thing to do, but make sure to explain what that word means in a way that an average person can process and understand. While it’s helpful to gain your member of staff’s trust by explaining clearly, it’s important to do so without patronising. You will likely get a feel for each individual’s level of knowledge and understanding as you communicate and listen, enabling you to respond appropriately.
10) Close communication with interest. Although it may be very difficult to avoid when you’re incredibly busy, turning away from your member of staff to signal it’s time to move on to your next issue can put a sour taste on any communications exchange.
After a great discussion, it is always nice when a Hotel Manager smiles, let someone know that you and they are on the same ‘team’ and that the member of staff was not just a number.