7 Top Ways To Work On Your Soft Skills for Hospitality
June 22, 2021
Article Overview10min read
Whether it’s getting a degree, learning a new language, computers, or bookkeeping, we often focus on building hard skills as they’re all essential to landing a job. But what about industries like hospitality and tourism that equally prize soft skills?
Soft skills, also sometimes called people’s skills, are of paramount importance for succeeding in the hospitality industry – what is first and foremost a ‘people business’- as it addresses how you communicate, work with your colleagues, and handle the everyday aspects of your job. The soft hospitality training skills involve direct interaction with clients and the management of teams whose goal is to satisfy customers in what is most decidedly a labor-intensive industry.
More often, hospitality recruiters will invest in training a less-experienced candidate if they perceive them to possess the right personality and soft skills for the job. So, how do you learn them?
In this blog, we list 7 essential ways to build soft skills that would help make your mark in the hospitality industry.
- Practice active listening: Customer satisfaction is at the heart of hospitality. Being able to address their needs and ensure unforgettable experiences are important. The first step to becoming a better client manager is to start listening. Let customers be heard. Let them finish speaking before asking them questions or making suggestions.
- Learn to prioritize, delegate, and focus: Hospitality managers juggle several responsibilities at once. They need to work fast and work well. Practice making a list of tasks in order of their importance. Make it a point to tackle the urgent ones first and the others later. Delegate tasks according to the capabilities of your team members. Through it, learn to focus on each task at hand instead of splitting your concentration on multiple things. Once you’re done with one, move to the next.
- Act on feedback: Feedback – especially if it’s negative – allows you to improve your service and enhance customer satisfaction. Always take criticism in your stride, and instead of taking offense, ask yourself – What can I do better? What areas of operations need improvement? The sooner you act on feedback, the better you can change a negative experience into a positive one.
- Learn to problem-solve: No matter how great your organizational skills are, there will be hiccups that you’ll need to deal with. The process involves a step-by-step approach.
- Start with identifying and understanding the problem.
- Search for the cause of the problem.
- Once found, brainstorm several possible solutions.
- Narrow down these solutions to what seems the best.
- Apply the solution and wait for a result.
- Amend the solution if it doesn’t work as well as it should.
- Think outside the box: An innovative mindset can take you places as organizations are always looking for people who seek out new opportunities and new solutions. With their imagination and creativity unhindered by habit and convention, you can learn to think innovatively. A few ways to do this are creating a mind map, working backward, and asking a child what they would do.
- Stay positive: As positivity is rewarded by praise from customers or promotions at work, you have to stay positive always. Even if you’ve been around someone in a bad mood, don’t take it to heart, as you know how quickly the toxic cloud can spread to customers and coworkers alike. So, be it hospitality niche or any other, you have to make others feel that you’re a joy to be around. To foster a sense of resilience and positive thinking, practice positivity – by keeping a list of what you are grateful for – find various ways to laugh – even at the little things – strive for optimism and resilience and use motivational hospitality quotes whenever possible. Along with staying positive yourself, you may also strive to motivate others in all you do because it could help you to maintain a positive vision for the future.
- Practice non-verbal communication: Whether you’re communicating face to face, over the phone, via text, or through email or letter, clear communication among people is the most important soft skill one has to master. This is because you can only build trust, decrease the odds of misunderstanding, foster community, and build teamwork and understanding.
To master your non-verbal communication, practice using clear and open body language while communicating. Always make eye contact, acknowledge everyone in the room and monitor others’ non-verbal cues and respond to questions using non-judgmental language while communicating.
Even if soft skills drive 85% of your success on the job– whereas hard skills only affect 15% of job performance – most employers invest professional development funding in hard skills instead of soft ones. So let’s make a change, and instead of only focusing on hard skills, take soft skills development seriously.
Like hard skills, soft skills also take time and patience to build. But if you start now, you can quickly cultivate them and apply them to the hospitality industry – and across sectors!
In short, a well-trained employee will master both soft and hard skills. In fact, if an entire workforce is trained in the same way, it will reduce the turnover rate and increase overall profit. Restaurant owners can also take help from hospitality consultants, who can come in to help the present team to improve their skills and impart new industry knowledge to all the staff.