Ubuntu: The Art of Connecting with Guests on an Emotional Level
By Holly Stiel President, Thank You Very Much Inc. | April 07, 2013
Ubuntu is an African ethical and humanistic philosophy, based on the idea that the very existence of humanity as we know it is not possible without our connections with others. It has been interpreted and extolled by many thought leaders, including Liberian peace activist, Leymah Gbowee, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.
The ubuntu philosophy has a deep meaning and implications for the hospitality industry as our entire business is based on connecting with our guests on an emotional level.
Ubuntu speaks specifically to the belief that, in isolation, we cannot exist as human beings. As Leymah Gbowee explained it, "I am what I am because of who we all are." Though it may be difficult at first to grasp, perhaps the simplest way to explain ubuntu is: Without another, we don't exist. At its core, are the necessity and a profound respect for our collective humanity and interconnectedness.
Although it originates from Africa, it's an all-embracing philosophy with profound universal significance. Archbishob Desmond Tutu could be describing the perfect hospitality professional when he says: "A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based on a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished…." It has also been expressed that ubuntu places the highest premium on dignity, compassion, humaneness and respect for the humanity of others.
While at first blush this topic may seem a bit esoteric for a business publication, it offers great insight and practical applications for anyone that truly cares about their customers experience. This is especially important in the hospitality industry because….
You Can't be a Host Without a Guest
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