To kick off Shelley Dickinson’s “Achieving Hospitality Excellence” presentation at the AYS Annual Summer Retreat, our team played a game that involved us introducing ourselves by connecting an experience we’ve had or something we have in common with the colleague that had spoken before us. This, called “Connecting the Dots,” quickly proved to be a great way to learn more about each other while also emboldening the idea that there are more things that make us similar than that make us different. To apply this to our careers in hospitality, Shelley explained that connecting the dots is a wonderful way to get to know a staff member or a client outside of the traditional employer/employee or business/client relationship. This not only humanizes us to the staff member or client, but it reminds us that they are people too.
So, how can we connect the dots in our day to day work lives?
At a networking event: When being introduced to new people, listen closely when they say what they do or where they are from to find something you have in common with them. They do Catering at Assumption College? Wow, you went to a Assumption – or you’re from the Worcester area! Making these connections will allow the conversation to flow in a more memorable way than just exchanging business cards.
With a staff member: When a staff member calls in to change their schedule and shares it’s because their kid had a last minute activity come up, ask them about their kids and what activities they’re into. Maybe you played soccer, too, when you were a kid or loved how your mom never missed your games. By taking a moment to treat the staff member kindly as opposed to just reworking their schedule, you make an impression with them that they will remember the next time you need their help with a shift.
The depth of bond formed by making these simple connections in everyday life allows us to see each other as more than just transactions – building a loyalty and cementing a partnership that will be mutually successful for both parties for years to come. Whether your ultimate goal be to get a staff member to work a shift, a client to give you more work or a stranger at a networking event to make an important introduction for you, connecting the dots with them will certainly give you a leg up on achieving your end result – and also will go a long way in forming lasting relationships as well!
Do you “Connect the Dots” in your everyday professional life? Share with us how in the comments below and you may be featured in an upcoming post!
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