Guest relations in hotel entertainment

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Learn the secrets of communicating with people - guest relations

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The undeniable fact is that our profession is magical. Every day, we have a chance to talk to new people from all over the world. People on vacation usually have a very positive attitude and they like hotel entertainment. We can use that to build personal and friendly relationships. How do we do that? We show sincere interest in every guest, giving him or her our attention. This, in turn, creates a friendly and fun environment. I'm going to start this chapter with one of the most important parts of the book. Public relations means you spend time talking to guests and meeting new people. I've seen many entertainers having trouble with this part of the job, trying to avoid it by hiding in the backstage. Alternatively, he or she talks to guests they know from previous days or activities. 
In my opinion, the best entertainer is the one who  knows everybody. The best in this profession have the ability to make new relationships every day. People come to join activities, not only to play games but because they have created a personal relationship with you. For example, I've had yoga classes with sixty participants or done aqua gym with more than a hundred people! Believe me; if you want to achieve success and be able to win over crowds of people, this chapter is especially for you.

Golden rules that you should follow when establishing personal relationships in hotel entertainment.

1. Show real interest in other people – remember to ask questions. This is one of the most important principles of good communication. In a conversation, it's important to direct your attention and questions at the person you are talking to! They will appreciate a good listener. This will lead them to talk more about themselves. We all have met the type of person who wants to be the center of attention. They are loud and often interrupt others. I can only imagine that you don't like this person and try to avoid them. It was important for me to learn a lesson from my current fiancé, she showed me that I was that kind of person. Often I couldn't help but interrupt others because I wanted to say something. I naively thought that everybody always wanted to listen to me. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved being the center of attention. For a long time, I didn't understand that I was being very selfish and narcissistic. To change the type of person that you are, first, you need to discover what the problem is. To change my personality traits, I began asking more questions directed at others. I started looking for things that I have in common with the person with whom I am talking to. So that we can find common interests. 

To do this, I use simple questions like: How are you? Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Once I get to know the person a little better, I start asking more specific questions. 

Here are some examples of my questions: 

  • What dreams do you have? (At the same time, I'm giving categories to choose from: travel, hobbies, professional fulfilment, etc.) 
  • What sports do you like to watch or play? 
  • What interests you outside of your profession? 
  • If I gave you a million euros today, what would you do with that money if you had only twenty-four hours to spend it?
  • How did you meet your partner?
  • Can you teach me a few sentences in your language?
  • What three books would you recommend reading?
  • How has your personality changed since you were younger

There are millions of topics which you can choose from, but the questions I have presented to you, have helped me build deep relationships with people. By using these questions, I've built relationships that have led to people inviting me to their countries.  Start using these tools and you will see amazing results. Let others be in the spotlight. Listen and show real interest. You won't have to wait long for your desired results. I have learned to make people the star, put them first, and take care of their needs.

2. Positive attitude   Part of our job in hotel and cruise entertainment is smiling at work and being able to encourage others to have fun together. The most important thing is an honest smile.  From my own personal experience, I know that it's not easy to smile twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes, we have personal problems or just have a bad day. When I feel bad, I hide in a quiet place and close my eyes. By doing this, I'm giving myself a moment for the so-called "moment of gratitude." I'm feeling thankful for everything I have in the material, mental and spiritual areas of my life. It works! It's a powerful tool to become happy immediately. No matter how bad my day is or how stressed I am, I'm trying not to think about anything for a moment. In the blink of an eye, my mind becomes calm and clear. Then I begin to visualize things for which I am grateful for on a daily basis. It's important to notice these "little" things." We often only appreciate something when we lose it. I remember a situation when I dropped my brand-new phone. I had to use my old phone because I didn't have any other camera. At that moment, I realized how grateful I was for having an amazing phone before I broke it. You and I should be thankful for what we have. I've travelled the world and seen families with eight or nine children. Most of them were not lucky enough to wear new shoes, own a watch, have a cell phone or computer. In some parts of the world, warm water is a luxury while in others, access to drinking water is almost a miracle. Therefore, don't whine or complain! Instead, be grateful for everything you have! Be grateful for your health. Many people in the world are doing great things without legs and arms. I recommend you watch Nick Vujicic's lectures on the internet. This amazing man is living his best life without upper and lower limbs. He motivates the whole world and shows people how much we have and how much more we can achieve. When I have a very bad day, I think about him right away. I tell myself that my problem is nonsense. What really matters is that I have two healthy arms and legs. When I was sixteen, I volunteered for a school project helping a group of disabled people who lost their limbs in car accidents. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for those people to lead a normal life. I once did an experiment by wrapping my right hand in a bandage for a few hours, I then tied it to my body and I couldn't use it anymore. We did this to put ourselves in their place and this made me realize how thankful I am for being healthy. If you need a moment, go ahead and take it. It's one of the tools used by some of the happiest people on earth. Why shouldn't you belong to them?

3. It's crucial to remember the names of hotel guests –  Nobody wants to be addressed with, "Hey, you!" When somebody used my name, I immediately liked them more. They made an effort to remember my name. These people are showing me that I'm important to them. The same thing happens when I remember the names of guests from the hotel. They're often in shock that I can memorize dozens of names for one week. They often ask me how it's possible because most people forget names after a brief period of time. Methods I've used to remember names involve creating a short story connected to the name or associating the name with something famous. Here is one example. There was a client named Douglas and I remembered his name because of the perfume company named Douglas. It doesn't need to make sense as long as it makes sense for you. I also associated names with famous people. For example, I had a guest named Klaus and immediately I associated his name with Santa Klaus. 

Here are some more examples

  1. Anna Maria - She had red hair and I immediately associated her with Anne from Green Gables. 
  2. Rod – He reminded me of the famous singer Rod Steward. 
  3. George – He reminded me of the famous actor George Clooney.

As you can see, it's not hard to come up with connections. From now on, try to remember the names of guests using the methods I described above. By doing so, I guarantee the participation of your classes will increase. There's a big difference between saying, "Hey, do you want to try some smoothies?" or saying, "Hey, Monica, I know how much you care about your health. So, I have something special to offer. I have made a delicious presentation of smoothies, Would you like to join?"


4. Be Enthusiastic  – It's very hard to explain to someone how to be enthusiastic. So instead of explaining, i'd like to show you some more specific examplestail when it sees you. That's why we love animals so much, especially dogs. Sometimes when they don't know you, they start jumping up and down. They wag their tails or lick us. Wait a second. How can we transfer this kind of enthusiasm to our everyday lives? After all, we won't lick people's faces as a dog does. Have you ever been in a situation where people were very happy to see you? Where they were jumping with joy, kissing and hugging you or even carrying you in their arms? They were enthusiastic to meet you! The next chance you have when you meet a good friend, partner, parent or someone else from your family (but it must be a person you like or love), throw yourself around that person's. Tell them how glad you are to see him or her. Hug the other half, say some compliments about their look, clothes, hairstyle. I assure you that this is the perfect way to establish a strong and deep relationship with another human being. Discover by yourself the great power of enthusiasm, which should be sent out by you. It'll come back to you with double power. I know passionate and dedicated entertainers are able to gather twenty or thirty people for the most boring games. Meanwhile, some average entertainers only gathered one or two people for the same game. Success lies in how we invite people to our activities. The more energy we give, the more that comes back to us. Yeah, this is the famous karma. Ever since I understood that, I've always given a hundred percent of energy and enthusiasm. I remember a situation when I really didn't want to do the mini disco. (It's a kind of dancing with kids on the stage.) Back then, I was thinking - I'm 25 years old and I should be starting a serious job. Meanwhile, I'm working in a hotel with the kids and I have to do something with them that I've done a million times. I was dancing the same choreographies over and over and I was sick of it. I realized I had to change something. I decided it would be a good idea to change the whole playlist to songs I have never heard before. Ten minutes before the mini-disco, I changed into a new costume, I called it SUPERCLOWN. After making my makeup, I blew up some balloons and did the best mini disco in my life! I invited ten kids to play, and then I played a list of random songs from YouTube. I even involved all the parents in the mini disco, so more than thirty people took part in our show. I started to get crazy and make some funny faces, which everyone had to repeat. We played some games and we laughed when the parents pretended to be chickens or cows! The best thing was to see the parents being horses letting their children ride on their back. That's when I realized what enthusiasm is all about, instead of the statement: "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT." I've decided to never use this sentence anymore. I've changed it for the phrase: "I'LL DO IT AS BEST I CAN WITH ENTHUSIASM." As Albert Einstein said, "If you want different results, you have to try different Approaches." In my case, when I was giving my best, it turned out that I was appreciated. People watching my activities approached me and gave me tips for doing a great job. People were in shock with the amount of energy and power I put into my job. Believe me, this motivated me to do everything with a hundred percent more power and energy.

It doesn't matter what you promote (no matter if it's a show or some other hotel entertainment activity). It's only important how you do it! Enthusiasm is a powerful weapon.

5. Introduce Yourself to Everyone –  Presentation is a very important part of our job. Let me give you an example of my first chief and how he introduced me. First, he presented me to the team working at the reception. Then, he introduced me to each bartender. Finally, we went to the main stage where he introduced me to the people from the animation team. In entertainment, it's very important to have a good connection with all the employees. To perform our duties properly and effectively, we should make friends with everyone employed in the facility. Somehow we need each other. After all, we don't only work within our team of entertainers but also as a whole hotel. We need the help of bartenders, cleaners, technicians etc. Everyone working in a hotel should know you. This is the number one rule in our profession. If you meet someone in the hotel uniform introduce yourself immediately, and of course, do it with a smile. You can ask something about non-work-related topics or simply express your joy at being able to work together in such an amazing place. I have one piece of advice. Be open, brave and straightforward. Before meeting somebody, don't judge them by their position or job. Instead, take time to get to know the person. I remember when I was in Bulgaria. The chief of the cleaning staff became my friend. I was calling her my second mother. I was a disaster when it came to doing laundry or ironing my shirts. I would often give her things like sunscreen or other cosmetics that the guests gave to me and because of that, she helped me with things like ironing my shirt. Then, she gave me a big hug and looked at me as her son. Don't be afraid to make contacts. Take a chance because the next person you talk to could become a friend.

6. How to point out mistakes in a polite way?  –  In good communication, it's important to know how to point out mistakes and how to address them. It saves you unnecessary arguments and avoids hurting somebody's feelings. As an entertainer, often I found myself in a situation where I did a great job and my boss was only waiting for the moment where I made a mistake. Believe me - I was thinking that I hate him because of that. Remember, before you tell someone something unpleasant, try to praise him for what he did right.

Example: Hey Piotr, you did an amazing Aqua gym today. I saw a lot of people having fun. While I loved the energy and power, please change the second soundtrack. I heard bad words and we have children around the pool. He said he would like to avoid any complaints about swearing.

7. Find The Right Time And Place  – Don't make a fool of someone or ever talk about a person's weaknesses in the company of other people! Try to avoid pointing out people's mistakes in front of others and do it in a polite way privately. Pointing out people's mistakes in front of others creates a bad team atmosphere. This will help you avoid arguments and the person will appreciate the privacy of the conversation. Let me tell you a story from my life. I remember when one of my friends invited his new girlfriend and me for a walk. He was about twenty minutes late for an appointment. When he finally arrived, we said hello and I began telling him what I didn't like about him. I pointed out a lack of punctuality, along with a lack of willingness to improve. I also said he always says one thing and does something completely different. This was all done in front of his new partner. After the incident, he was very angry with me that I insulted him in that way and in front of his partner! I didn't even think about that! On top of that, I almost lost a friend. 

8. Avoid Sounding Commanding  Don't try to be someone's parent. Preferably, act like their older sibling. If you know how to fix the mistake, which would avoid the mistake occurring in the future, then share that idea with that person. Offer them help instead of only pointing to the errors. In my experience, one of the best rules within an animation team is to be clear with the punishments for breaking rules multiple times. For example, if you arrive late to a morning meeting three times, you have to do the Mini disco for the whole week. This will avoid unnecessary conflicts and arguments.

9. Don't Complain About the Others –  Nobody likes people that constantly are talking behind people's backs and want to argue about everything. If you know someone that is always talking bad about others how can you be sure that they are not doing the same behind your back?

Summing up all of this, please stop concentrating on someone's weaknesses and instead focus on people's positive side.

Muszynski, Piotr. Hotel Entertainment: Tips & Tricks - How to become a great entertainer, make more money and become true leader! 

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