Hospitality Should Be About Love, Kindness, and Compassion

It is a shame to see the hotel industry clinging to an obsolete guest experience concept and being led by cookie-cutter-oriented, shareholder-driven hotel groups. Hospitality in these groups is dominated by a clonable, emotionless corporate template whereas it should be about love, kindness, and compassion. People want to feel loved. Trainers, if the corporate executives and their disciples wish to persist with the obsolete SOP-Customer Satisfaction concept, then change is up to you. Lead the change!

You must know in your heart that the hotel industry has lost its way. The proliferation of brands amongst the large hotel groups indicates that the SOP-Customer Satisfaction concept is bankrupt. Can you not hear its death knell? The world deserves better.

We even have the big chains trying to create brands made up of independent hotels, which are untainted by a shareholder-driven corporate template. What does this tell you? Like an old donkey being made to pull a heavy load while being beaten by its master, the corporate offices are flogging a dying concept in order to extract the last remnants of life. They are only delaying the inevitable change to energetic, heart-based hospitality.

Over the years corporate offices have downgraded “care” to the correct performance of their left brain credos, sanitized mission and vision statements, and emotionless SOPs, such that they and their disciples have lost touch with the roots of “care”. The word ‘care’ has its roots in the Gothic ‘kara’, which means to grieve for someone, to experience someone’s sorrow, and to enter into someone’s pain before doing something about it. In this definition compassion, care, love, and kindness are entwined. You cannot remove love from hospitality, but this is exactly what corporate offices have done unashamedly.

You have to decide first, if you wish to live in the Rut of Tradition, or, if you dare, to break out and proliferate change. It takes courage because you will face opposition from the stalwarts of tradition and the old paradigms. For example, you will have to try to persuade the Department Heads to follow your lead in the operation. If they do not support you actively, then your success may be limited, and you will have to decide whether you wish to follow the whisperings of your heart or ignore it. I chose to follow my heart many years ago.

As Robert Frost wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

You cannot create a guest experience, which is strong in loving kindness, compassion, and heart-warming care by using traditional methods and corporate training materials. You have to become teachers of spiritual values and knowledgeable about energy. You have to learn how to open the heart to help love flow again. This requires new knowledge and skills. I realize that this sounds radical and preposterous now, but the day will come when it is mainstream. Come along down this untraveled path, if you dare, for the destination is far more beautiful than you can imagine!

The foundation is to learn about the body’s energy system – the auric field, the chakras, and the meridians. You must know how energy flows into and through the body; how to clear energy blocks; and how to clean the body’s energy field. You must know this because the staff’s energy affects the guest experience significantly.

You must also learn ancient knowledge about energy and study scientific research into heart energy. This includes how to change your body’s energy vibration; how to help the staff to change their energy; how to send high frequency loving and healing energy to people, guest facilities, and spaces; and how to condition the energy of the hotel, guest areas, and accommodation. You must know this so that you can make the guests feel happier and more peaceful while staying at your hotel.

You also have to know how to develop in your staff the core spiritual values of hospitality namely, loving kindness, compassion, and heart-warming care. One of the best ways to do this is through stories about loving kindness and compassion – the more tear-jerking they are, the better because such stories open and soften the heart more.

Also, have the staff meditate on spiritual quotations and visualize themselves putting the quotation into practice with all the feelings and effects, which this entails. This will help to soften their heart and their service. Here is a sample quotation in this regard:

In addition, each duty in the SOP manuals must be trained in a way that it is infused with the spirit and softness of love. This will mean that the corporate Train the Trainer workshop will need to be changed.

These are some of the elements of a process, which Trainers can use to soften the heart, to create the desire to show loving kindness, and compassion, to restore emotion to the guest experience, and to replace the current, obsolete paradigm. The staff will feel happier, they will become more beautiful people, and they will become healthier. The energy of the property will change, the guests will feel this energy, and the hotel will become more successful. Training will become much more enjoyable too.

Perhaps only Trainers can lead the change because corporate executives are stuck in an obsolete paradigm and need help to see a more beautiful (and more profitable) direction. Technology is not the Holy Grail. It will merely reduce the emotion and lower the energetic vibration of the guest experience further.

A guest’s stay should aim to transform the guest like a spa experience, not simply provide mechanical, emotionless, efficient SOP service. Hospitality should be strong in the energy of love, kindness, and compassion. Trainers, will you lead the change?

Peter McAlpine has 27 years training experience in 4-star and 5-star hotels in 12 countries, including Saudi Arabia, and has helped with 27 pre-openings. He creates an energetic hospitality guest experience for hotels called Heart-Based Hospitality, which has helped hotels win World Travel Awards amongst others. His Middle East base is with his partner in Riyadh.

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