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Brief Book Brief

Unreasonable Hospitality – By: Will Guidara

I knew of Eleven Madison Park. Even though I have remained a counselor throughout my career, I have carried along things learned in many other fields including my time in culinary school and the world of hospitality. This book was exciting as a challenge to find ways to treat our folks at Balance Better and Tom’s Take in ways that build a connection worthy of what they are worth to us. It was quite a ride. It doesn’t have to start huge. Sending staff to feed the meter so families could enjoy their experience without worry…and grows into filling a room with sand…sending a family for their lives’ first snow sledding adventure…commissioning all sorts of art from talented staff…all to build meaningful memories that would last long after the look and taste of any meal would have passed. To make people feel so valued they will carry it with them for life. Talk about goals. Sheesh. But we are on it.

Want to feel like you’re not doing enough at work for the people you count on and count on you…in a good way (potentially)…this is a great read.

Some quotes from the book:

“Once people had gotten a feel for how good it felt to make a contribution, they would start actively looking for a way to do it again. And it was a way for us to communicate, on a person’s very first day: We hired you for a reason. We know you have something to contribute, and we don’t want to wait to see what it is.”

“Black and white” means you’re doing your job with competence and efficiency; “color” means you make people feel great about the job you’re doing for them. Getting the right plate to the right person at the right table is service. But genuinely engaging with the person you’re serving, so you can make an authentic connection—that’s hospitality.”

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

“We all want to be liked, and when you give someone a note about what they could be doing differently and better, you run the risk of losing their goodwill. That’s why I say there is no better way to show someone you care than by being willing to offer them a correction; it’s the purest expression of putting someone else’s needs above your own, which is what hospitality is all about. Praise is affirmation, but criticism is investment.”

“What criticism offers you, then, is an invitation to have your perspective challenged—or at least to grow by truly considering it. You might stick with a choice you’ve been criticized for or end up somewhere completely different. The endgame isn’t the point as much as the process: you grow when you engage with another perspective and decide to decide again.”


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