Managing Perceptions

Recently, this came up at work. The debate was, do you weigh managing perceptions or going into actual action to be more important? 2 colleagues, 1 favoured each of the options.

Truth is, in the hotel industry, you can always find the following 2 personalities – the one that talks and swoons his/her career to the top (with a bit of luck and manipulation and eventual having to do a bit of the dirty work) vs the one that does the actual dirty work and produces results and eventually also getting to the top (with recognition that may or may not happen). Bosses usually fall into either of those categories. With a bit of luck, they are the perfect hotelier – both personalities plus high intelligence and EQ found in the same person. Those are kinda hard to come by.

Well, bosses aside, you kinda need both types of people, because, to quote an ex-GM I  worked with briefly, “it’s all about the sex appeal”. It wasn’t meant to, but I think I can extrapolate this to mean that everything should be silky smooth, in all aspects, from the seamless check-in to the pressed bed linen to the “invigorating shower” (quoting Issy Sharp) to the seminar that runs like clockwork to the fantastic meal at the restaurant to the limo ride back to the airport that makes you feel like a rock star.

We all in the know, know, of course, that sometimes to make the “sex” happen for a hotel guest the kinda work that goes into making sure everything is as they should be takes many people to action. So, you know, fortunately or unfortunately depending on which camp you belong to, we all need the person who manages perceptions very well, i.e. the one whose poker face is a “warm, genuine smile” and turns an angry guest into a grateful one, and the one who is the no-nonsense efficient executor who makes sure the grateful guest stays grateful.

The 2 need to work together and learn to be each other, because, from the way I see it, you kinda need to be both person at once. That, I’m trying to master.

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