The undeniable need to connect

In advance of the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York City this week, I was thinking about how much I enjoy seeing all my hotel friends from around the country. It also got me thinking about the lack of face-to-face interaction that seemed so commonplace when I started in the business. I know I can accomplish so much more in a day than I used to, but I miss the down-in-the-trenches activity of operations. I embrace the Internet age and the global conductivity it has created, but even my kids wonder about their generation’s ability to socialize, focus and commit to their relationships. I don’t suspect we are going back to caves any time soon, but make an effort to do the following:

  • Put your phone away at mealtime.
  • Spend time reading a book and discussing it with another person.
  • Schedule some quality time with your spouse, child, brother/sister or friend, no interruptions.
  • Once you commit to a date, keep it.
  • Be 10 minutes early to meetings and socialize with your colleagues.
  • Make it a point to attend industry events, conferences and panels; they are a great way to meet and discuss industry topics.
  • Break bread with customers whenever you can; the time will be well spent.
  • Don’t make the conversation about you; ask questions and listen intently.
  • Be a sounding board for friends; be an advisor.
  • Befriend someone when they are down and help them — it may come in handy when the tables are turned.