Wednesday, March 5

Lessons from Mexico

For many years, I guided my parents on an annual winter escape to a wonderful little eco-resort on the “Mexican Riviera.”  Small bungalows on a beautiful beach assured that they could relax and enjoy the beauty without wandering away, having to deal with long staircases, or negotiating crowds.  Recently, I spent a week there by myself, reading, soaking up the sun, walking the beach, and enjoying interacting with the same staff who took such good care of my parents over the years.
During my stay, I had plenty of time to reflect and was struck by several admirable traits that the staff of this wonderful place share—traits that I’d like to improve myself, and traits that could benefit my client organizations.  First of all, I admire the visible pleasure the staff exhibits in serving together—it’s clear they want you happy.  For instance, they learn and use the name of every guest.  They remember your food preferences and work hard to assure you’re pleased with every dining experience.  If someone working in the garden sees you carrying a heavy bag, he will drop his rake and come over to carry it for you—and give you a smile to boot.  They ask often for feedback on how they’re doing—not just at the end of one’s stay. The accompanying photos show the extra time they take to fold your towels into different creatures every day—a small but lovely gesture.  

Secondly, this staff is always striving for continuous improvement.  Every year there is something added to the room—a safe one year, a fridge the next, then an iron and board (boo!), next a phone (double boo from those of us who want to be unplugged for a few days).  Even if I don’t use the iron or the phone, I appreciate their desire to provide more of what guests want, never being satisfied with, “good enough.” No wonder they consistently win TripAdvisor awards!
Think of how much your organization would benefit from being fully present, focusing on totally delighting those you serve, continually looking for ways to improve your service, and demonstrating that you are working happily as a team to do so.  This last week I was a guest at a place that really HUMMED with purpose and harmony, and the experience inspired me to do so myself.

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