First of all, I would like to point out that experiential hospitality is one of the key issues, which people are to think about while communicating with each other. In other words, experiential hospitality allows people to build warm relationships and create meaningful experiences. Of course, there is certain interdependence between such notions as hospitality and emotional intelligence.
Thus, as far as experiential hospitality is mostly associated with tourism and hotel businesses, it becomes obvious that emotional intelligence is considered to be one of the most important traits the managers are to possess and develop. So, taking into account the above-mentioned information, one can conclude that emotional intelligence is an ability to control and evaluate emotions.
An example of experiential hospitality I want to describe is arriving with my father’s colleague in our city. It was a year ago. My father could not come on time, as he was too busy; so, he asked me to entertain his guest while he was absent. Of course, I agreed. I understood quite well that my father’s colleague had to feel that he was emotionally satisfied. In other words, I had to keep in mind not only social relations but to establish certain personal ties. So, how did I do that? First of all, I drew my attention to the guest’s facial expressions and body language to understand the emotions he felt.
In other words, I relied on one of the branches of emotional intelligence, namely perceiving emotions. The second issue I kept in mind to help our guests feel free was the tactic of reasoning with emotions. So, taking into account my father’s area of work, I have easily found a topic the guest was interested in and we started its discussion. The branch of emotional intelligence, which is called understanding emotions, allowed me to see that my father’s colleague was not dissatisfied with our communication. Finally, managing emotions became the last and the most important branch I relied on to entertain our guests. So, I responded appropriately to the emotions of my father’s colleague and gave him some support when we were communicating.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Hospitality Managers
In my opinion, the importance of emotional intelligence for hospitality managers is a significant issue. They say that in experiential hospitality,
“is just not enough to have Human Resources with a high level of technical expertise, but also a high level of emotional expertise, which is mainly the ability to incorporate the emotional intelligence into the offered service” (Cruz 2010, p. 1). So, for this reason, I can state that the managers’ primary task is not to recognize the emotions of others but to understand and differentiate their own. When a person understands his/her own emotions, then it is easier to differentiate the various emotional responses of others.
As far as emotional intelligence is mostly associated with cognitive intelligence, it becomes evident that there is a need to focus on “emotion-related cognitive ability to effectively join emotion and reasoning” (Jang & Thomas George n.d., p. 2).
Participative management, putting people at ease, self-awareness, the balance between a person’s life and career, straightforwardness and composure, building and mending relationships, doing whatever it takes, decisiveness, confronting problem employees, and change management is considered to be the areas where emotional intelligence plays a key role. So, one can imagine its importance.
Finally, I have to point out that leadership skills depend upon emotional intelligence. They say that “co-workers seem to appreciate managers’ abilities to control their impulses and anger, to withstand adverse events and stressful situations, to be happy with life, and to be a cooperative member of the group” (Center for Creative Leadership 2003).
Center for Creative Leadership 2003, ‘Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence’, p. 3. Web.
Cruz, O 2010, ‘Emotional Intelligence in the Experiential Hospitality’, p. 1. Web.
Jang, J & Thomas George, R n.d., ‘The Relationship of Emotional Intelligence to Job Stress, Affective Commitment, and Turnover Intention among Restaurant Employees’, p. 2. Web.