Personal Attributes Required In The Hotel Industry

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Hotels and motels are not only places where one can obtain great food and comfortable rooms; they are also the center of community life, with facilities for meeting, entertainment, communication and personal service. Their stock in trade has always been hospitality and service, and hotel and motel have made an art of dispensing comfort, pleasing the palate and creating an atmosphere of home for guests.

Dr. Robert A. Beck, former dean of the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, and an eminent consultant, describes the challenges and opportunities of the Hotel industry.

"The hospitality industry offers today's young men and young women a most interesting and exciting career. Management of a hotel or a restaurant calls for a wide range of capabilities. Guests must be received with cordiality and provided with comfortable, well-designed, and tastefully decorated surroundings. They need appetizing, wholesome food that has been wisely bought, properly stored, skillfully prepared, and graciously served. Various other conveniences in public areas, conference and exhibit rooms, communication systems, and travel systems are required for proper guest service. Further, a staff of employees must be recruited, trained, and motivated to provide hospitable service. Moreover, all must be successfully coordinated to return a profit to the establishment's investors. For those wishing a rewarding and challenging life in service to their fellow man, a future in the hospitality field should certainly be considered."

Skills and Personal Attributes:

Social Skills:

At the core of this profession is service and hospitality, so people need to enjoy working with people and helping to teach, inform and entertain them. Social skills generally include talking to people and making them feel at ease with the person. If the person does not possess excellent social skills, then it will be very difficult for him to survive in the service industry. A guest would never like to stay at a hotel where the staff is stiff and unfriendly no matter how beautiful and comfortable the hotel is.

Respectful, Patient and Tolerant:

Graciousness is one of the key personal skills needed in the service industry. At times, the customer will truly test patience but at times like that one must be polite with irritable, short-tempered customers. It is important to remember to never quarrel with the customer as he is the reason for your bread and butter. The most basic quality in a manager is for him to be respectful to others. Pride is the most precious thing to people and if the manager takes that away from his employees, they will never trust him again. That will make extracting work from them very difficult. A manager's job is to make sure that the employees are learning, growing and performing to their utmost potential and that can only be achieved through a relationship of mutual trust and kindness.

Leadership Skills:

A leader's job is to help others make their best contribution towards a shared goal. Leaders inspire others to act by setting a good example. They drive and perseverance spurs others on. Leaders motivate others through mutual trust. The leader must trust his teammate's abilities and willingness to pursue a goal. The most basic tasks of a leader include motivating others, giving and taking criticism, organizing a project, delegating responsibility, solving problems and making decisions and monitoring the team's progress and setting goals for himself and his team.

Business Skills:

Business skills are important for any employee in the hotel industry. He should have sound knowledge of the profitability aspect of his hotel. He should be completely aware of the organizations goals and the strategies developed to achieve those goals. He should know sources and methods of the funding and management of the resources. Business skills also include human resource management and delegating work and resources.

Valuing Diversity:

Working with diversity and individual differences is one of the most challenging issues faced in the recent times. These differences managed positively can foster creativity, better decision making, higher performance and competitive advantage. In the hotel industry, one is constantly meeting people from different cultures, backgrounds and language. It is essential to not only understand but also respect people from diverse societies and locations. A person can understand more about culturally different people by travelling around the world and interacting with such people. Besides that, reading can also teach a person much about different customs and traditions. It is important that the guests feel right at home when they visit your hotel and the only way to do that is to make the environment as close to their own environment as possible.

Ingenuity and Imagination:

Since the hotel industry is a highly competitive industry, the customer must not only have a good but a delightful experience to gain his loyalty. For this, employees in the hotel industry must introduce originality, creativity and imagination in their service. It is also essential that they are also given enough resources and authority by their employers in their tasks to completely satisfy the customer.

Inventory Management Skills:

Inventory management skills include purchasing, stock control and merchandise display. Inventory management skills consist of proper planning strategy of the stock and supplies to be purchased, how they will be transported to the destination, where they will be stored, when will the new stock be ordered and how long will it take to be delivered. Since the hotel industry is highly competitive and gourmet is an essential part of the hotel industry, it is essential that the food served is always fresh, cooked well and nicely presented. Along with that, it is important for the person managing the inventory to be a good negotiator so that he may get maximum utility out of the price paid for the supply.

Negotiator:

In the hotel industry one is constant negotiating with customers, colleagues, and suppliers and needs to be quite skillful at it.

Technical Skills:

Technical skills are the understanding of and proficiency of specific tasks. Technical skills include mastery of the methods, techniques and equipment involved in specific functions such as engineering, manufacturing and finance. Technical skills include specialized knowledge, analytical ability, and the competent use of tools and techniques to solve the problems in that specific discipline. Many managers get promoted to their first management jobs by having excellent technical skills. However, technical skills become less important than human and conceptual skills as managers move up the hierarchy. Technical skills are quite important in the hotel industry as one will constantly be using or supervising use of new systems and equipments and needs to be an expert at it.

Active Listener:

Active listening is one of the most powerful personal and management tools. It involves more than just hearing. It involves your powers of observation as well. Observing body language is also a part of active listening as often the words completely contradict the body language. It is the process of taking action to help someone say exactly what he or she really means and then applying that information to the best possible way. In the service industry, active listening is extremely important as it determines the efficiency and the effectiveness of the service delivered to the customers.

ii) sample cv:

Career Objective:

To work in a prestigious organization that can enhance my skills and give me an opportunity to learn and contribute in professional environment.

Educational Background:

Bachelors in Hotel Management from Boston University in 1997.

Technical Skills:

MS Office, Internet and Email

Proficiency in SQL.

Soft skills:

Leadership

To meet Customer satisfaction

Communication Skills

Time management skills.

Team Coordination

Event management

Job Experience:

Worked as a assistant - front office in ABC Hotel - from 2005 to 2007

Worked as a hotel Asst. manager - XYZ Hotel - from 2007 till date.

Interest:

Traveling, Music, Dining out with friends.

Summary:

Handled customers queries and complaints via calls, emails and fax etc

Monitored and overseen all employees' duties.

Administered complete hotel operations

PART 2

SKILLS AUDIT:

Social Skills:

I believe I have good social skills since I like interacting with people and getting to know them. I have a friendly personality due to which people find it easy to talk to me. They are at ease with me. Often, I have also been the entertainer of my peer group and amongst friends. I also believe in helping people out without expecting any reward in return. In college I am a part of several societies so I am constantly meeting new people and working with them.

Respectful, Patient and Tolerant:

Since childhood I have been a part of several community services. The experience there has taught me how to be patient, tolerant and respectful towards people. A lot of times, we come across people who prove to be quite difficult and working with them can be quite challenging, but I've learned very early that politeness can turn any frown into a smile and I apply the same rule in my life.

Leadership Skills:

Being a part of several community services and a few societies at the university, I have also had the opportunity to lead a few groups. The most recent experience is leading a group of people who were chosen to prepare an extensive business plan on a new business initiated. Here we had to visit several organizations and people, gather relevant market information, conduct research and develop a whole business plan that comprised of the marketing and promotion plan too. As a leader I took upon myself to delegate tasks to the group members, give them deadline for the task, supervise their work and performance and motivate them to work towards the goal.

Business Skills:

Having courses of business studies has taught me a lot of how a business should be conducted effectively. But I do believe that business management is a skill that cannot be excelled at until one gets practical experience in the same.

Valuing Diversity:

Since I am a part of several societies, meeting people from different cultures and diverse backgrounds is quite common. The challenge I face here is to understand their customs and traditions and respecting them. Some words of actions that are quite respectful here may prove to be quite offensive to them, so one has to be quite careful while working with them. One advantage of working with people from diverse backgrounds is the generation of new and unique ideas that one is introduced to. These differences managed positively can foster creativity, better decision making, higher performance and competitive advantage.

Inventory Management Skills:

This summer I had an internship at a local motel where I was assisting in inventory management. My daily duties consisted of physically counting and keeping records of the stock and place order when the supplies were close to their last stages. I also had to make sure that the supplies I ordered were delivered on time and make a check that the delivered supplies were fresh. I was able to handle the job efficiently and it gave me a great experience in the world of inventory management.

Technical Skills:

I believe I do not have the best technical skills at the time as these are skills that are polished with time and experience. But I do possess proficiency in using the Microsoft Office and can read make reports and financial statements and interpret them. With time, I believe I shall be more adept in technical skills.

Active Listener:

I use active listening skills every day while communicating with my classmates, friends and even family. By carefully observing their body language and repeating important words of what they are saying, I make sure that I understand exactly what they are trying to communicate to me to avoid any misunderstandings. Active listening is a very important skill that is useful in all aspects of life whether it is college life, family life or work life.

PART 3

REFLECTIVE LEARNING:

This module has been very helpful for me in terms of personal development. A few of the skills that I think I must learn/posses are as follows:

People's Person:

One thing I have learned is that one needs to be a people's person. Managers are largely concerned with dealing with people - their staff and their internal and external customers. But people's behavior is often unpredictable; their demands and responses are conditioned by constantly changing circumstances in which they exist, the pressures to which they have to respond and their individual wants and needs. To deal with all this, one needs to have excellent people's skills.

Become Achievement/Results Oriented:

To survive in the professional world, one needs to become achievement/results oriented. This includes the desire to get things done well and the ability to set and meet challenging goals, create new measures of excellence and constantly seeking ways to improving performance. But becoming achievement oriented is not easy. This requires proper and vigorous planning and foreseeing all future obstacles and finding ways to meet them.

Assertiveness:

Assertiveness means standing up for your own rights in such a way that you do not violate others person's rights. Here, you are expressing your needs, wants, and opinions, feelings in beliefs in a direct, honest and appropriate manner. Behaving assertively puts you in a position of being able to influence people properly and react to them positively.

Business Awareness:

It is extremely important to have business awareness in order to survive in the business world. The capacity continually to identify and explore business opportunities, understand the business opportunities and priorities of the organization and constantly seeking methods of ensuring that the organization becomes more businesslike.

Excellent Communication Skills:

Communication is an essential tool in the professional life no matter which industry or sector you belong to. The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, orally and in writing goes a long way. The communication skills also include observing the non-verbal communication. It means listening to the words that are being said but also use other clues that convey its meaning. Several things clue the non verbal communication, for example, the shape of the eyes, the muscles of the face, even posture.

Collaboration:

Collaborating is the work platform of the 21st century. It is the epitome of the "we" workplace, where extending request and excellent service to fellow workers is the foundation of all interactions. Collaboration takes advantage of the most effective actions possible because it focuses on and utilizes the unique gifts and strengths of the many. Everyone's skills complement and reinforce one another's. Collaboration creates and energy that inspires and motivates. Through collaboration, people gain a stronger appreciation for how their efforts align, add value, and produce results for the company. One more point about collaboration is pertinent. Savvy managers know that collaboration requires employees to be a part of something larger than themselves - a project with meaning and importance. To that end, they artfully help employees relinquish ego behaviors, replacing them with mutually beneficial ones. They act consciously to ensure that every person knows how much his or her contribution adds to the project's success. As companies move to more virtual projects executed globally, utilizing a host of virtual communication technologies, collaboration challenges with intensity. Building your collaboration skills allows you to handle disparate work spread across various cultures and times zones and to transcend various boundaries. It becomes your strategy for bringing out the best in each person.

Working Under Unpredictable Circumstances:

One is not always in a position to control events and situations that affect their work. Sudden demands are imposed from within the organization or from outside. The best laid plans are therefore disrupted and the established priorities are abandoned. In these situations, one needs to be able to handle such circumstances and make quick decisions as they arise.

Periodic Trainings:

Periodic trainings are very important to keep the employees up to date with the current systems and trends. Many institutions are now offering trainings to their business executives as a means of developing skills. These trainings prove to be very useful in initiating and promoting entrepreneurship. Trainings are required to get sound knowledge of technical and non-technical skills. International trainings are also a good forum for the manager to create new personal relationships and interact with new people.

Analyze Past Mistakes And Note Down Learning Points:

One way to learn from past mistakes is to analyze what went wrong and ask oneself that if I had the chance what I would do differently. Even if one fails to achieve a certain goal, instead of being discouraged he should jot down points of what he has learned from the situation and if he had to face a similar situation again, what would he do differently the next time. Self-analysis is a very effective learning method.

Interacting With People From Different Cultures And Environments:

To further broaden one's horizon, one constantly needs to interact with people from different environments are cultures. This enables us to learn about the different cultural dynamics and let go of our preconceived notions. This way one also learns to use that cultural diversity to the organization's advantage. When a group of people from different cultures come together originality and creativity is introduced. In today's day and age, where cities are becoming more and more metropolitan, it is important to be able to interact with and respect people from different places and appreciate their difference.

PART 4

personal development plan:

What is the general area in which I need to learn?

Develop technical skills pertaining to my professional life.

How have I established such need?

I have come to know that I am not quite as proficient in technical skills and they are an essential requirement for the kind of profession I wish to pursue.

What is the aim of my learning?

I aim to be proficient at technical skills.

What are the specific objectives I need to achieve?

Demonstrate evidence of improvement in these skills.

How do I intend to achieve these objectives?

I plan to take courses in new systems and software that are currently being used in the organizations. I shall also read about the new systems and software, their purpose and contribution in the overall organizations goals.

What is my timescale?

On-going, I plan to keep practicing and learning new systems and software to keep myself proficient.

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