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  • Writer's pictureAdele Gutman Milne, CHBA, CHDM

Unleash your business success by upgrading your mindset

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Welcome to Get Great Guest Reviews! I hope you enjoy the podcast and the accompanying article. Each episode is designed to help everyone move forward on their journey towards progressively heightened levels of guest loyalty and delight as well as employee engagement and growth. Please be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode or an opportunity to inspire five-star reviews.

The hospitality industry, like most service industries, is filled with people who love to make a positive difference in people’s lives. But, when you have a dream of how things at work should be, it can be disheartening when the “realities” of work-life seem to conspire to keep you or your business from fulfilling your potential.

But not all barriers to success are actual “realities”. Often it is our own unexamined mindset that inhibits us from taking the very actions that move us closer to our goals. In this episode, I am joined by hospitality expert Cheryl C. Jones, owner of Simply the Best Results and the author of the book, Emotional Self Mastery. We discuss some of our suggestions and insights on how to take charge of your destiny and gently step around any self-talk that isn’t empowering your happiness and success.

As Cheryl says, mindsets are neither inherently positive or negative. We as humans simply have patterns of thinking and beliefs that we gleaned from life. These could have come from our parents, our schooling, our self-talk about personal experiences, and even from “experts” on webinars and podcasts. So sometimes we need to reflect and ask ourselves, “Why do I think that?” and, “Is that really true?”  

For example, I have heard and read, dozens of times hoteliers and experts saying that most people who write reviews are motivated to do so because they want to complain. That seems like it makes sense, right? But the reality is that according to Tripadvisor the average review is 4.1 -4.4 depending on the year. The new study released by ReviewPro in collaboration with Cornell University says that in a sample of 7,500 hotels around the world, the average review score was 84.6%. Clearly, what is considered a common belief doesn’t act stand up to statistical data.

So let’s take some time to reflect on some common beliefs that may be holding us back from taking positive action and fulfilling our goals.

Limiting Mindset #1: My hotel or restaurant isn’t fancy. We are a simple place so we can only get a basic level of guest satisfaction.

Reality Check: Think about Pizza. Some of the most loved brands and experiences in the world aren’t fancy.

Growth Mindset: Our place doesn’t need to be fancy to make our guests feel 100% welcome, cared for, appreciated, and respected at every encounter. We can still do everything in our power to make sure our property is sparkling clean, everything is in good repair, and we communicate with fearless authenticity because that shows we care for and respect our customers. If we want our guests to love us, we have to love them first.

Limiting Mindset #2: My team doesn’t care enough to give great service.

Reality Check: All people want to be happy and successful. It is human nature that we want to be appreciated and respected. We all want to know we are doing a good job and contributing to a winning team.

Growth Mindset: We have a team of smart, caring people, who love to make people happy. Now, it is up to all of us to support the team and nurture their success. We all need to work together to get them the inspiration, encouragement, tools, knowledge, training, and freedom from fear so that they may be confident to take action and ownership of solving problems and making guests happy. As Cheryl says, employees don't start out with the knowledge and confidence to contribute. It is up to us as hospitality leaders to help them understand the operation, embrace our mission to make guests happy, and nurture their confidence so that they may contribute to their full potential.

Limiting Mindset #3: I don’t have the power to change things.

Reality Check: We will always be frustrated if we focus on what can’t control. To feel empowered, look for what we can do instead, even if it isn't a comprehensive solution. Diminishing your issue by half, or even by 5% will add up to big results if you are committed to continuous improvement every day.

Growth Mindset:

Every day is an opportunity to learn something new. Every problem investigated is an opportunity for creativity and innovation. We are creative people and we can imagine new solutions every day if we focus on our goal of making guests happy.

Start with yourself. How can you communicate caring to every guest? How can you take every opportunity to listen to guests’ problems, not judge but reflect on what the hotel or business could do slightly differently to avoid a guest being disappointed?

If you feel you are not a leader yet, start with yourself. What can you do? What is in your control? How can you lead others by your example?

Then, collaborate with just a few people where you work who also want to see positivity and solution-oriented collaboration. Perhaps as a team, you can support each other in initiating or presenting small changes that will help increase guest joy and lessen friction points.

Limiting Mindset #4: It will be hard and I don't have time.

Reality Check: Being great to guests is often just a matter of getting into better habits. What's really hard and time-consuming is repeatedly dealing with the same problems over and over again. That's not only time-consuming but also soul-crushing for your team.

Nipping problems in the bud is time well spent and helps you reduce both employee turnover and customer churn as well.

Growth Mindset: Just like maintaining equipment saves time and money, maintaining the best performance from your team does as well! We can help our team grow without extraordinary time invested by using all the tools at our disposal:

Create a library of fun hospitality books to help inspire and guide your team.

Create book clubs within your hotel to discuss the most important concepts from these books.

Create a list of hospitality podcasts that can help your team grow their careers.

Create a menu of cross-training activities that employees can request if they are interested in learning and adding skills to their repertoire.

You may not have time for big training programs but you can always use your preshift huddle to educate your team, one concept at a time.

Create a video library of things team members need to know so that if you are not available all the time, at least new staff can have access to that inspiring information.

If you are interested in learning more about how to implement these ideas, please send me a message and I will be glad to share more on this.

Limiting Mindset #5 Being great to guests is too expensive.

Reality Check: It is far more expensive to look for new guests than to keep the guests you have in house today feeling cared for, appreciated, and respected, and coming back for more.

Growth Mindset: Imagine the potential lifetime revenue value for every guest in-house today. Imagine how profitable it would be if everyone left so delighted with the level of hospitality they received that they tell all their friends, family, and business associates, and if we are lucky, shared their experience online with a five-star review.

Let's collaborate and learn every day how to be great in taking simple transitions and turning them into uplifting human connections. Let's focus on creating lifelong relationships with our guests. Let's be generous in recognizing the potential in every employee and nurturing their talents and growth so that they have the knowledge and confidence to contribute at their highest level.

We don't have to know everything at the start. We don't need to have all the answers. But we do need to collaborate as a team of seekers and contributors. We can start with small simple changes that are low cost and easy to implement. As our reviews climb, so will our revenues, which will allow us to afford to take on larger projects and improvements over time.

Delivering on your brand promises is an investment that generates income and saves money in the long run.

Let's Connect!

If your hotel could benefit from more five-star reviews (and honestly, couldn't we all?), please contact us at, and let's see how we can put you on a reputation optimization plan to meet your needs and support your goals.

Follow and connect with Cheryl C. Jones:

Instagram: Cheryl C. Jones

Twitter: Cheryl C. Jones

Follow and connect with Adele Gutman:

Website: Adele Gutman

LinkedIn: Adele Gutman

Twitter: Adele Gutman

Thank you for listening!

If you found value in this discussion, it would mean the world to us to have you as a subscriber and share this with anyone you know who might benefit from this conversation!

Have a great week and reach for the stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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