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Thankfulness and the Art of Guest Service

One of the reasons I love thanksgiving (and the holidays in general) so much is it is all about connection.

It is about reconnecting with folks you’ve lost touch with.

It’s about taking the time to consider what matters most.

It’s also a time to take a breath and connect with yourself.

Now before you think this is going to be an exercise in mindfulness – first of all, stop knocking mindfulness.  But second, remember that being a good leader – and in turn inspiring your team – is all about balance.

As leaders its easy to think that you have to be “on” all the time.  Always thinking about work.  Always planning your next move.  Always thinking about staying ahead.

But that kind of perpetual motion will end up negatively impacting your productivity, creativity, and overall leadership.  When this happens you’ll find that you have a hard time staying focused on what matters most – including keeping your Guests at the center of your world.

So think about that – what good are you to your organization if your attention span is ultra short, your temper even shorter, and your ability to listen and engage your team practically non-existent.

And none of that is great for your business or your Guests.

So here are a few things you can do during this long weekend – and into the new year – to re-energize your leadership and in turn, keep the focus on delighting you Guests.


It’s okay to take a moment to consider what you’ve done well.  It is exhausting to continuously think about what hasn’t gone right and what you can do to improve in your work.  Sure, challenging yourself and learning from past missteps is a great way to stay on top of your game.  But you will absolutely drive yourself bananas if you only think about what has gone wrong.  Think about what has gone well and how you can use it to continue your success.  Even more importantly, enjoy your success.  You have worked hard and sacrificed as a leader, so its okay to take a moment to pause and take pride in that.


It is easy to just find a comfortable spot on the couch and veg out until New Years, but resist that urge.  Take the time to do something completely different – that might be sleeping in, going out for a great breakfast in the middle of the week, volunteering, or pursuing a personal passion project.  You may find that disrupting your normal routine kick starts your time off and spurs creativity.  Plus, a little spontaneity is just what you need to get out of your daily routine and help you relax.


Losing touch with family, old friends, and former colleagues is all too easy.  Conversely, it gets harder as time goes on to reconnect and reestablish relationships.  Most times, just making the first step loosens the ketchup bottle, so this is a great time to reach out and touch base.  What better time to take that first step than during this time of the year.  Although there is much to do as the holidays approach and the year comes to a close, it is also a time of seemingly endless possibilities.


When you take time to show gratitude, it helps you focus in on what is important.  The other key part here is that it can inspire you let those around you know how much you appreciate them.  Think about the great work your team is doing an ensure that they feel recognized.  This is where a hand written note mailed to their homes could be impactful.  Of course, taking time to list out what you are grateful for with your family can also be a fun way to reinforce a positive vibe.


Everyone gets a little starry eyed around the holidays and sometimes that can cause businesses to take their eyes off of the Guest experience.  So take a little time to be sure that your team stays focused.  There is plenty of room around this time of year to be thankful and ensure great Customer service.  You may also be able to tap into the holiday spirit to jump start your Guest engagement going into the new year.

What better way to ensure that you keep your Guests at the center of everything you do.


Tony Johnson -Guest Experience Leader-

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