Do you ever think about hospitality in the context of your work environment? Unless you’re in the hotel/travel/restaurant business, probably not.
I have a dear friend that shared a story of her negative experience on a recent trip due to a lack of hospitality from her host.
That got me thinking about what an impact the absence of hospitality has on relationships and how those lessons can be applied in our work lives.
Hospitality is defined as, “receptive; kindness in welcoming strangers or guests.” There is a clear correlation if you have a role in onboarding a new hire or new member to the team, but does that same mutual relationship apply to how you generally interact with others with whom you work?
Being hospitable applies to all types of relationships. Let’s see how:
- It’s foundational in building relationships – being receptive, respectful and open to others says, “you’re important to me.” If you let others know you value them, they will most likely have a similar feeling about you.
- Allows you to meet interesting people and gain a broader perspective – when you are approachable and engage with others, they will open up and share their knowledge and insights.
- Prompts you to remember what you have to offer – you probably have a wealth of knowledge about the unwritten rules, tricks for navigating the company politics and how to get things done. Sharing helpful tips can assist others in avoiding the little land mines they didn’t even know existed.
- Builds a supportive network for yourself – I’m a big believer in, “what goes around, comes around.” If you are known for helping out others, you’ll have plenty of people who will be happy to help when you need some help! Remember George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life?
When it comes down to it, being hospitable is about focusing on the other person, understanding their needs and offering to help them to meet those needs.
When you do that, people become comfortable with you. When someone is comfortable with you, they will share more, opening the opportunity to learn from one another and they will begin to look for ways to help you should you need something someday.
What could be better?
So put that Welcome Mat outside your office door/cube entry and take notice of how your relationships grow!
Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter at @mduesterhoft or connect via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.