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  • Writer's pictureBuck Paolino

What does Michael Scott and The Office have to do with Hotel Communication?

A favorite scene for me from the Office with Michael Scott is when Michael texts his boss, David Wallace 911.

David Wallace: [over speakerphone] I don't understand. Is anyone hurt?

Michael Scott: Not on the surface, no. But I can tell people are disturbed, David.

David Wallace: [upset] Michael! You texted me. 911. Call me. All in caps. Do you know what 911 means?

Now that method will get you a call back but think about how it feels like to David. There’s no context, it’s out of the blue, and it immediately brings up worry and stress. That example is a little out there but let’s see it in real life.

Has anyone else ever had a mini freak out when a client or guest calls or emails saying they want to talk out of the blue?

Or you have an hour-long call where you go over 50 things and once everyone is off you’re like, what the heck did we just cover and what was I supposed to do again? And you feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted.

So, what do those examples have in common, besides high blood pressure and sweaty pits?

They all suffer from a lack of communication.

And a lack of communication is a breeding ground for mistrust, nerves, and worry. All things that don’t put you in a positive headspace in which you can make the best decisions for your team and your role.

Did you know that a lack of communication is one of the leading causes of friction, frustration, and confusion within the work place and is a main contributor to solid team players to become subpar and gossip.

So, how do you increase hotel team communication?

So here are some practical tips that are fast, simple, and easy to make sure we don’t fall into the communication trap.

  1. When sending a email or calendar invite add an quick note/ agenda

If you’re meeting with anyone they need to have the context of what is going to be discussed. This keeps you both on topic and allows for the other person to prepare and gather any activity or notes. Not only does adding a few notes to the topics help for the recipient but it also speeds up the meeting because everyone isn’t spent looking through file cabinets for old hotel folios and reports or pulling up every spreadsheet from dropbox.

So your first step is for any meeting you call is to put a few notes in there as an agenda. And if you receive a request for a meeting, ask what they want to go over. It’s perfectly OK to ask your boss or client what they want to cover. It shows that you are investing in them and want to excel.

2. Now, At the end of a call or meeting do a quick recap of next steps and who is responsible for what.

This is where things seem to fall apart because everyone wants to jump off the phone or run out the door, but this is the most critical piece of gaining traction. Spend a few minutes having each person state exactly what their next step is and when it is due. I’ve found that by everyone physically saying what they are to do it adds a level of responsibility and trust. Plus, it allows for others to make sure if they need to coordinate with someone on a task they too can speak up at this time. Just make sure there is always a due date on when they will be getting back to the rest of the team.

3. Set expectations with yourself and your clients/ team.

You have more than a million tasks to complete when you are leading and managing others or working with clients and guests. And when they feel like they can contact you 24/7 you never feel free. For example, on my wedding day I had a client calling me wanting me to come in and work a few hours. Their thought was, you are getting married that afternoon, you’re a guy, it shouldn’t take you that long to get ready. And this lack of boundary and belief that every person is at your beck and call erodes trust and rapport with everyone you work with.

So how do you fix it? You set expectations on when you will reach out to others and respond. You might feel like this is over communication but it’s not. It’s a lack of communication because you haven’t set clear expectations.

Boundaries in your communication shows others that you take very seriously your time. T

his sounds easier than done but all you need to do is tell your team you’re not available after 6 in the evenings unless it’s an emergency. You let your clients know that you will respond the next business day via a automatic reply.

So our tip for this week is to begin adding one of these 3 communication tips to your daily life:

  1. Add an agenda for any call/ meeting

  2. Complete a recap of responsibilities

  3. Set communication boundaries

And these communication tips are important to you and your team because it removes confusion, provides clear expectations, sets accountability and ultimately helps build a culture of productivity and growth.

Alright, I hope that was helpful! If you haven’t signed up for our weekly videos, please do so below and if you know someone this would help send it their way!  All right, talk to you soon! 


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