How to Communicate for a Win-Win Outcome
Currently sitting in my hotel room at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino, I am taking a moment to jot down some thoughts to share with my fellow planners and suppliers about how to communicate for a win-win situation.
As you all may know, I have more than 20 years in the hospitality industry. First, as a director of sales and marketing in hotels, second as a national sales manager for a convention and visitors bureau, and now as meeting planner and speaker. What I find most challenging in today’s world of information overload is that we have forgotten two very important things: How to listen and how to communicate what we are trying to say.
What do I mean by that? Well, you have heard the statement “think before you speak,” right? With a society that requires immediate gratification and embodies a growing impatience, we are responding before truly thinking about the outcome of what we hope to achieve.
Yesterday, when checking in, the front desk agent was going over my projected stay and related room charges. There was an error stating charges that were not agreed upon, but I had been flying all day and really wanted to check-in. The front desk agent insisted that I needed to sign the folio before they could let me go to the room. I responded in a calm and kind tone that I did not feel comfortable signing the folio with a rate I didn’t agree to.
I moved to the side and tried to call my contact only to get his voicemail. After about 15 minutes, the desk agent motioned to me and said she could check me in, however, they had to put a hold on my card until they could get the situation cleared with management. I called my contact again, leaving a message about the situation and asked that it be resolved as soon as possible.
I am pleased to report that it was confirmed and the miscommunication is solved. Although it did cause me a bit of temporary discomfort, in the end I got the resolution that I was hoping for. What would have happened if I had been demanding at the desk? What if I had left a voicemail complaining about the confusion, instead of being grateful? The outcome could have been much different.
It’s not what you say, but the way you say it. Hum, sounds familiar. People only hear 7 percent of the words we say; the rest of our communication is based on body language and intonation, which is why e-mail is so easily misunderstood.
When you do not understand the intent of an e-mail, it is important to have a conversation. Remember the margin of error is more than great, so think twice before you send that e-mail or before you respond. Once you hit send, there is no going back. What will you choose to do the next time you face a communication challenge? Keep your intended outcome in mind and you will choose the right path every time.
To read more on cultivating relationships and building loyalty, visit makeyourbestimpression.com