The Most Important Words for the Workplace or “A short course in human relations”

Several years ago, a  famous athlete was being inducted to his sports’ hall of fame and in his remarks, he commented on the need and value for team work. He quoted the often used phrase “there is no I in team” but he added there is an I in “win”.

An online search for the author of the following short piece does not bring a definite answer – there are slight variations but the message is fundamentally the same:

6. The six most important words:      “I admit I make a mistake”

5. The 5 most important words:           “You did a good job”

4. The 4 most important words:          “What is your opinion?”

3. The 3 most important words:           “If you please”

2.  The 2 most important words:          “Thank you!”

  1.  The 1 most important word:           “WE”

The least most important word: “I”

This past week another sports team reached a new pinnacle.  The message in this link is not about sports but how the practice of Leadership and Team made a difference.       5 lessons Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots can teach you about leadership

Tom Peters in many of his writings states “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. “

What are you doing at your hotel today to Build Your Great Team?

All rights reserved by John J. Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan   John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.    Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at  johnjhogan.com  

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.


Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com  / 602-799-5375

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Hotel Common Sense – 7 Practical Steps on MBWA

Hotel Common Sense – 7 Practical Steps on MBWA

HOSPITALITY PRINCIPLES OF  SUCCESS

A previous article used one of Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s fundamentals from their groundbreaking book on changing the ways we do business.   IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE introduced a formal name for what the more successful hospitality managers already knew about motivating their staff. The phrase “Management by Walking Around” was based on Hewlett-Packard’s commitment to their staff with interaction – not micromanagement, but ongoing listening and responding to staff ideas.

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2 , Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works… article outlined how today’s workforce wants and needs to be considered as individuals who can contribute to the success of their organization.

Reader feedback showed the growing awareness to that need for additional management and leadership “active listening” and this follow-up message on MBWA offers some concrete ways to notch up that effort of positive involvement.

  1. Allow your staff to share complete stories and messages.  Many hospitality companies are trying to improve their customer care programs, yet how often do leaders and managers actually ask an hourly staff member to share a story about either an unhappy or very satisfied guest?  Listening to the entire story could provide best practices that might be substantially more effective and less expensive than hiring a consultant.
  2. Avoid the tendency to interrupt.   General Managers are results oriented people who are looking for the bottom line.   I know from personal experience the tendency to “hurry” people along is there, but allowing people to share the entire experience will encourage them to be more open.
  3. Remember eye contact in conversations.  One of my first mentors taught me a great deal about hospitality, but his habit of looking over my shoulder when we were talking always made me feel I was missing something. Give confidence to people with your eyes.
  4. Collect and communicate these stories of success (and failures). Sharing these stories (appropriately) at meetings of all staff, at training sessions, in newsletters and more provides an incentive to people to want to contribute because they have learned that you really do care.  I have seen some outstanding examples of “you tube” like testimonials from a number of hospitality companies of all sizes.
  5. Remember this is not a game of “one-up.” As General Managers, we have likely been in the business longer or heard more stories and it is important to recognize that we should not try to offer one “better” story than the one we are hearing. Remember, MBWA is about “active listening.”
  6. Credit the source.   When we add a new resource, form or best practice to our hospitality membership site, we obtain permission first and then always make certain we credit them fully.  Each of us has unique approaches, messages and talents and sharing the credit with our associates and guests is essential to moving forward.
  7. Build trust by honestly listening.  Some (correction, many) of the best suggestions I have ever heard as a manager or executive came from the people who are performing the job.  I learned more about laundry sorting, washing pots and up-selling from people who were proud to be successful at what they were doing.  Some of those suggestions needed clarification and some were not told as quickly as I might have preferred, but building teams means using all the team members’ strengths.

I normally update the Hospitality Tip of the Week, but as this is an immediate follow-up message, I am going to maintain it, as I believe the point needs to repeated until it becomes a habit.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:   Focus on MBWA

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people:  measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?   

              What will you do next week?

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my speaking programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

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Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

Who’s for lunch? A question from HospitalityEducators.com

I recently watched a short Tom Peters You Tube video on numbers. Yes, numbers.   The numbers were 20 x 12 = 240.  While we all know the math is correct, we need to actively listen to his message.

The 20 represents the probable number of days worked in a month and the 12 for the number of months.  There are give or take numbers with travel, vacations, out of office meetings, national customs, etc,. but his premise was that many of us have a large  number of days when we are in our home base and need to have the mid-day meal somewhere.

In hotels and many hospitality businesses, lunch can be a rushed meal (and one that is sometimes missed in the real world), yet I feel Peters is right on with the next part of his video.  He continues to explain that this daily period is an exceptional time for executives to cross department lines and learn about each others’ areas, needs, problems, successes, challenges, issues, budgets, etc.

Sounds good, but can it work?

  • I know of a “heart of the hotel” (or back of the house) department that scheduled a monthly team meeting at breakfast and invited another department head to briefly (under 5 minutes) share what their department actually did. The learning was impressive!
  • I once managed a hotel that had rotating Chairs at department head meetings.  The Chair had a set time to identify their top three issues or recent successes. The sharing was real and the next Chair did their part.
  • Several large companies have an  “executive job switch” day when they change positions with hourly staff.  While these are good for public relations and some positive staff feelings (depending on the manager), their once a year timing is not meaningful.  The managers who spend a day a month in someone else’s area  are the ones who  make the difference.

Tom Peters is well known for stirring things up, but this idea of professionals actually having a few minutes in a one-on-one session does not sound too radical to me.  Showing sincere interest in someone that is not part of your division or particular work group is an excellent way to advance everyone’s knowledge.  I imagine that many of the really successful professionals at companies like Disney, GM, Johnson and Johnson and others have done just that, and built strong networks as well.

With all that said, my question to you is “Who’s for lunch?”

Dr. John Hogan Crowne Plaza Chicago, MeetingsQuest Oct 2010

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375
www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com.