Having grown up in the Hospitality Industry, I was taught to always put the guest’s needs first. This mindset then flowed into putting everyone’s needs first. This included characteristics such as watching my tone and words to ensure that I am never offending anyone. Examples include not saying “you should” or “you need to” when talking with people, after all, who likes to be told what to do? Even overworking myself to ensure the guest’s expectations were over exceeded. Yet in all of my efforts to ensure everyone else is taken care of first, I forgot how to take care of myself. Obviously I am capable of simple hygiene and ensuring that I appear professional, especially in the guest’s eyes. Yet I am talking about emotional care. After recently listening to a reservation sales agent share that she cried about how she was talked to by a customer, I wondered how I could help her. The concept that came to mind, was “not taking things personally”, when encountering a challenging customer or some random person who decides to take their bad day out on the next person they encounter. For years I have been beating myself up, wondering what I did or what I could have done differently to ensure they liked me, just like this agent… In the end, it wasn’t about me. I think it is very easy for us “pleasers” to get in this mindset. At a certain point I made a change to take care of myself first.
I would like to introduce a book that offers hospitality “pleasers” a way of providing self-care AND giving top notch service to everyone. This book is called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Following are Don Miguel Ruiz’s agreements.