The authentic art of welcome guest
Please find her below an very interesting article by Carine Mouradian. I’ve met her during its thesis about the art of welcoming.
Can you describe how we can get an authentic welcome?
The authentic welcome is difficult to describe for many reasons. First, because it is a magic moment, a timeless moment in the guest’s and staff’s experience. Our marketing-business orientation will try to grab it instantly, so that it could be reproduced again for another “similar” guest or in another “similar” situation. But authenticity goes with uniqueness: each welcome is different because the guest is different and the situation too. The more we want to predict it, the less it could happen. Because the authentic welcome is a question of awareness to each guest’s needs, kindness and deep compassion. The rest is what is given in the present moment. The risk is to miss the moment, because we are fixed to our standards or sales dialog. A lot of Luxury hotels deliver a high quality and efficient welcome, but it is not an authentic one. We have marvelously received the guest. But we missed welcoming a unique person at a unique time.
So what are the conclusions?
The study revealed it is not impossible. Even more, it is quite simple and natural, only if we express what we are deeply and let go. Babies are by essence the authentic welcomers of life! We also have to change radically our manner of thinking…
Psychiatrists and bio-researchers brought interesting evidences on the welcoming. We are biologically and cerebrally programmed as structures for the welcome. Selfishness is unbalancing, because contrary to our nature, but also the total altruism. The secret is to be like a channel to be able to love as ourselves. Therefore, we should first love our self and learn to love by refusing selfishness. When we go deeper into this statement, it means we have first to train to find compassion into us to be able to welcome ourselves, the world and the others. The more we are aware of our inner world (emotions, senses, silence), the more we get opened to the world and the others, and compassion starts flowing naturally. We have to train regularly to get this natural ability, including the employees and especially the ones in contact.
Is there a philosophy of the welcoming?
Yes, another practical philosophy of the welcome explains that we have to change our natural habit to treat the others as we want to be treated. Instead, there is a lot of humility in welcoming to accept the other as he is, and treat him as he wants to be treated, as everyone has his own needs. Finally, there is a difficulty in the welcome because we cannot force someone to be welcomed. It is based on the willingness of the host and the guest. And the guest is completely involved. For example, businessmen may not want to be welcomed, but just access to a basic service of registration (self-check-in) when they stay in the hotels and destinations.
Is being service-minded important in the art of welcoming?
Of course, it is and we have to get back to the true values of hospitality. Welcome is not about servitude, being a slave. There is the notion of helpfulness, to serve someone voluntarily, like the doctor who do everything to serve his patient… It is at this level that the service is extremely honorable. We have to rehabilitate the jobs of welcoming in France and also get the exemplarity of the managers in Luxury hotels. Because the authentic leader is the one serving the others, his employees and his guests. Only this attitude could create the atmosphere for a real welcome.
At the end, do we consider there a certain ability to be a good host?
In reality, this ability exists in each of us. But some people developed it since their early childhood. It could be to please to the others or because they had to take in charge adults’ needs. They have an accurate sense of the others’ expectations, and they simply picks everything up like sponges. They also have a high creativity and dynamism to surprise the others in order to get their attention. They are ideal candidates for the welcome. But they also have to train to develop humility and detachment. Authentic welcome is freely given: no reward, no recognition, no loving in return should be expected! And there is a need for a delicate balance: to be pampering without giving the sense of dependency.
Carine Mouradian has a wide ranging experience in travel and hospitality: More than 20 years spent exploring, delivering and managing innovative projects on guest and customer experiences in France and Europe: S’Miles, Thalys the Card, TGV.com, Groups and Business travelers at TGV, Touristic visits in historical stations… French citizen, with a multicultural background between Orient and Occident, she speaks fluently French, English, Spanish, Armenian and Arabic (Lebanon). She is also passionate about nature and people and practices scuba diving worldwide. Graduated in Marketing in 1994, she obtained brilliantly an International Masters in Management of Hospitality at SKEMA in 2015, specializing in the latest practices to improve the art of welcome and guest experience at Luxury Hotels. Her project is to take on a consulting role to advise large players in the tourism industry in order to build the ultimate client hospitality experience and the art of welcome by returning to the fundamental values: compassion, kindness, service mindedness, and awareness of the environment and destination. Ms. Mouradian can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.