It is often in the face of adversity that we make our most creative and positive decisions, says Arnold Fewell, managing director, AVF Marketing
I had the pleasure of listening to Clive Woodward at the Master Innholders Conference last month. It was fantastic to hear the former England manager recount his stories from the Rugby World Cup win in 2003, as well as his thoughts on the 2012 Olympic Games. He gave an insight into the DNA of a champion, and talked about his acronym, T-CUP (Thinking Correctly Under Pressure).
This is important in sport, but there are also huge lessons for every hotel, restaurant, pub, club and foodservice business. For example, how well do we react when someone complains, or a member of staff is off sick? Do we moan and groan or do we move into a different mode and think of all the positive outcomes that can be achieved?
Positives might include giving a new member of staff extra responsibilities to see how they react. Or asking a member of the bar staff to take orders for the restaurant to free up a waiter. There are always ways of doing things differently, providing you react positively. Every business comes under pressure at some time, but when that happens, how often does it then create an even better or outstanding service? There can be no excuses for poor service as, in reality, no excuses are valid.
Some years ago I had the pleasure of working with Lanny Bassham. He won an Olympic silver medal for rifle shooting in 1972, and described it as the worst feeling in sport. Even though he was just a short way behind the gold, he was number two in the world on that day, and in his mind, that was not good enough. He spent four years researching what makes a champion, devised his own mental management system, and won the gold in 1976.
In adverse and stressful situations, Clive Woodward's T-CUP philosophy helped players react in the right way. Developing this kind of automatic response to stressful situations should also be applied to everyday hospitality operations. It is when you are under the greatest pressure that you must deliver that outstanding experience.