Monday, 18 April 2011

Does practice make it more fun?

Are you lucky ?
I think it was Gary Player who during a winning streak in the 1970’s when asked by a reporter if he felt he had been lucky to have won a tournament replied with; “the harder I practice, the luckier I get!” Famous for his nonchalance this response was in-part a brilliant put down as well as a revealing insight into his psychology. It is easy to mistake confidence for arrogance, nonchalance for complacency however in a place of work where your every move and decision is under close scrutiny such qualities are only achievable after reaching a state of self confidence born from practice, practice and practice.  
Most of us working in the hospitality and leisure sector are, by definition in public view our actions constantly being evaluated against customer expectations. A confident demeanour, easy smile and pride in the place of work and region are all qualities we are expected to exude. Key to being able to appear as such is understanding and anticipating customer needs and “being lucky” to know what the soup of the day is or what time the last bus departs. Of course it is not always our fault if we don’t know but we will be accused of not caring or being tardy and lazy if we don’t find out.
We can take responsibility for being lucky by working to the maxim; “no one should be in a position to reply I don’t know to a question from a customer or colleague”
A simple enough premise but one that takes time and practice to deliver, steps to consider taking to help gain a reputation for being lucky include;
·         Recruit for attitude
·         Ensure effective and interactive induction
·         Inspire professionalism and encourage time for listening
·         Keep rewarding good practice
·         Anticipate customer and colleague needs
·         Train, retrain and train again
·         Gain feedback but remember you are the quality controller, not the customer
·         Foster trust and confidence
·         Create an environment that  customers and employees want to be part of
Good Luck and have lots of FUN

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