Immediately before guests come to visit, our household is thrown into a hurricane of cleaning, picking up toys, and folding the clean laundry that has usually been in the hallway for over a week (or at least hiding it). I completely stress about making the house look presentable. My hospitality skills focus on what others think of me and barely include ensuring that there are clean sheets on the guest bed and clean towels in the bathroom that guests are forced to share with my children.
This past weekend, my husband’s family had a reunion and we were overnight guests at his cousin’s home. Everything about the entire weekend was about making the guests feel comfortable, which completely changed my view on hospitality.
When we arrived, we were each given a bag with a towel for the pool, water bottle, flashlight, lip balm, and snacks for the kids – everything that we needed for the weekend and, of course, did not bring. Our guest room was extremely relaxing with an amazing view of the mountains. The room had the Wi-Fi password posted on the wall, water, a coffee maker, milk, “busy” toys for the kids, iPhone chargers, soaps, shampoo, etc. I felt completely relaxed and that I did not need to ask the hosts for every little thing that I needed to complete our stay. The hosts spent time thinking about my family and the event and what we may need to make our stay positive and comforting.
City halls are generally a place for all of the citizens of a community. City halls should be a place of openness and pride for a community – not only a place to house bureaucrats. But, how open is city hall? Do we focus on what others think of city hall? Does it reflect the community? Do your citizens feel welcomed there?
What can you do to be good hosts to your community? Ask yourself what your guests need for a positive and comforting experience at city hall.
Perhaps it is extending hours to facilities for citizens working outside of your community. Perhaps it is nighttime or weekend recreation activities for dual-income families. Perhaps it is enhanced social media for your younger generations. Perhaps it is expanding your technology to reach the opinions and thoughts of citizens who are unable to attend an evening town hall meeting. Perhaps it is offering translation services that reflect the languages spoken in your community. Perhaps it is easy access to your billing and payment system. Perhaps it is extra time with code officers or planners before a small issue wastes money for a homeowner. Perhaps it is a warm bench and a glass of hot coffee in the winter.
Redefine city hall’s hospitality role in your community. How can we all be better hosts?
Executive Search Manager