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Words Have Power

The words that you say to your guests and colleagues are very powerful. Think about this. When you were about two years old, your mother began to insist that you use the words “please” and “thank you.” Since that time, nothing has changed except that you now need to use a greater number of nice words.

Catch yourself when you begin a sentence with “No.”

  • People generally pay less attention to the rest of any sentence that begins with “No.” For example, “No, we can’t do that.” Instead try, “Here’s what I can arrange for you right away.”
  • So maybe you can’t do exactly what your guest requested; but, with genuine enthusiasm in your voice and a satisfactory option, the guest will be pleased.

Please remember to use “I” instead of “they” or “we.”

  • Use “I” and the guest will know that you are responsible for his or her care.
  • I’m so sorry” and “How may I assist you?” has so much more meaning than, “We are so sorry” or “They said it’s not the policy.” Who are all of these invisible people?

Well-chosen words will evoke feelings of guest and colleague trust, appreciation and loyalty.

  • Example: The word, “spend,” as in: “You would need to spend sixty-five dollars for your son’s swimming lessons.”
  • Try it this way, “Your investment in Johnny’s learning to swim is sixty-five dollars.”

Always use the right words in the workplace; words that evoke positive feelings:

Poor Choice of Words                                                              Better Choice of Words

“Problem”                                                                     “Challenge”

“I don’t know.”                                                             “Let me check on that for you.”

“I don’t know how this happened. “                          “I’m so sorry; please allow me to correct this error.”

“I’m sorry.”                                                                   “Please accept my apologies. I’ve corrected your bill.”

“May I help you?”                                                        “Please let me know how I may assist you.”

“May I put you on hold?”                                            “Please allow me to place you on a brief hold.”

“Bye.”                                                                             “Have a pleasant morning, Mrs. Wilkins.”

“May I take your order?”                                             “Good afternoon, it’s so nice to see you.”

“Are you still working on that?”                                  “I’ll stop by a little later with the dessert menu.”

“Nite.”                                                                            “Enjoy your evening, Ms. Lopez.”

“Hello.”                                                                          “Hello, Dr. Williams.”

“No problem.”                                                              “Certainly, my pleasure.”

“No problem, you guys.”                                              Don’t even think about using “you guys.”

Choose your words carefully:

  • The words you choose will help you to move forward into the worlds of both business and personal success.
  • Smile, and add a tone of happiness in your voice; watch for results that raise expectations and promote enthusiasm in both your guests and your fellow associates.

Excerpts of blog taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, PhD

 “Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”

— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com

Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com

Lyn Pont, Ph.D. – World’s Top 30 Hospitality Professionals, 2016


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