Whether you like it or not, it is all about the “B”​ word…

By Lauran Bush, Consultant, EP Business in Hospitality

After holding a recent event which brought together many great people under a single roof, all from very different worlds for a really great reason I was very definitely reminded that everyone’s take on b’s are so incredibly different, sometimes to rather entertaining levels of disbelief and confusion. That it really is about what kind of exposure you’ve had or haven’t had more like it. What your norm is and sometimes what your world, culture, education or upbringing has “dictated” or “precedented” as your “b” norm levels.

What on earth Lauran? … is this “b” about bed and breakfasts, baked beans or the bloody Bee Gees? Close but nope, sorry…and now all you’re thinking about is a delicious full fry up in a lovely country hotel with appropriate background music!

Both of these “b”s are under constant scrutiny from social media and measurement from a productivity and retention perspective.

Selfishly, I find it so interesting listening to people from my current world of Hospitality – a great world where there really is a clue in the name – Hospitable meaning to look after and care for another human, to provide acts of selfless service which are meant to delight and satisfy, all (more often than not) done with a huge smile. Even with my toe in my other world of sport, there too the incredible people I have met put their bodies (and minds) on the line daily for their team mates (coaches and fans) out of acts of service to something bigger than themselves, out of respect for themselves and those around them. Both of these “b”s are under constant scrutiny from social media and measurement from a productivity and retention perspective – both good and bad but both necessary and the impact of getting it wrong is dire and devastatingly impactful – more than not often not in a good way.

And then we get to my old life and those other possibly more “traditional” worlds where “b”’s are often different and set in a very different precedent pool. Where “b”’s – the good the bad and the ugly are justified out of hierarchy and tradition…or age and fee earning capabilities. Now I know I am generalising massively here and yes, we have all been served a coffee or a meal without a smile and we have had amazingly inclusive experiences of respect and the feeling of a deep, humble culture which aims to invest, inspire and develop talent in more traditional business landscapes. But how do you know that the “b”’s that you are being subjected to (or goodness forbid may consciously or unconsciously be subjecting others too) may be, how can we say WRONG unless you share and learn from others in other worlds?

So, what is this big “b” in the proverbial room? …. BEHAVIOURS!

We all have them, we are all accountable for our own, subjected to those of others and we all need to mindful of how ours may and do impact. But the argument exists, what happens if you are in a world where certain behaviours are acceptable and get you the “respect” or “growth” that you want but at what expense? How do you change the behaviours in your world when you know that they are not, how shall we say, acceptable regardless of “tradition” or “precedent”?

Without going into the #metoo minefield, don’t we learn how to change our behaviours (and very possibly influencing those of those around us) by learning from others from other worlds? How do others build teams, inspire, reward or reprimand? How do they deal with failure, stress or illness? How do they set goals, visualise success and celebrate achievements? How do you know if you never build networks and friendships outside of your own and how do those in those other worlds get to learn from you and all the great “b”’s which you have worked so hard to change the world for the better?!

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