If you asked me to define hospitality, I would tell you that hospitality is the art of creating space for others. Without mentioning or suggesting a context, you would probably assume the context for hospitality is inviting people over for dinner or hosting a party, and that the space we create is akin to setting the table or making sure all your guests have a beverage. You would not be wrong. However, there is nuance to hospitality that I am discovering, and this week I was reminded of the broader context this powerful idea can take.
As an employer, I create space for my employees. They do their work, and I do mine, and yet there is more to the equation than clocking in and clocking out. Hospitality in the context of the work environment means creating and allowing space for growth and development to occur, even when it is messy or complicated. It means knowing when to step in and lead and knowing when to hang back and allow someone else to learn how to lead. My nature is to control, but hospitality means releasing a bit of control and allowing room for others to stretch and grow, even if the lesson is learned through failure or frustration.
Here’s what we talked about this week…
Do you remember watching the Swiss Family Robinson movie as a child? This was such a formative film for me. I remember watching it over and over, loving every scene. We have been reliving our love of this movie, and decided it is time for a remake of this classic. We even have discussed who we would cast. In the roll of Mother Robinson, we would cast Toni Collette. Father Robinson would be Colin Firth. Roberta would be played by Maisie Williams (aka, Arya Stark from Game of Thrones). The brothers are harder to cast because I am not very familiar with young male actors these days. Fritz, Ernst, and Frances need to be in their teens, sort of handsome but in an outdoorsy sort of way. And casting ideas?
I’ve said it before. The difficult part about working with people is the people. Sometimes, it seems like maybe Hurley House should train our retail staff with some basic counseling skills. The phone calls we receive can be very revealing, and from time to time we wonder whether or not we should speak into the places that present themselves. We don’t look for these situations, but they seem to fall into our laps quite frequently.
“Hello, Mrs. Jones. Thank you for thinking of Hurley House for your mother’s upcoming birthday. It sounds like you’re really trying to win her love and approval by choosing the perfect cake. Is that something you’d like to talk more about?”
Or, “I understand, Sarah. Choosing a menu can be difficult. You sound a little bit anxious. Do you always have this much trouble making decisions? Would you like to talk about ways to manage your anxiety?”
Or, “I’m so sorry your sister-in-law left you to plan this party alone. And, yes, it does sound challenging. Would you like to talk about how that makes you feel?”
It just seems quite natural to give people the opportunity to take their emotions to the next level and work it out with us on the phone. I think it could be an added value to our product line up. We do effort to be a safe place for people. Maybe this is the next logical step.
What do you call the things you add to coffee? When you set up a beverage station for people to add cream and sugar to their coffee, what do you call those items? “The coffee is fresh and hot at our beverage station. Help yourself to the _______.” Fixings? Add ins? Toppings? Condiments? Accouterment? We face this challenge every day, and we do not have a great solution. Any ideas?
I love watching awards shows like the Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes. But it frustrates me that award shows are on Sunday nights. Sunday night is a school night, with Monday morning’s early alarm clock waiting for me on the other end. Are the famous people just flaunting the fact that they don’t live by the same rules as the rest of us, or have TV ratings become the only deciding factor when it comes to live broadcasts?
Have a lovely weekend!