The art of service: An emotion management guide for hospitality managers

In the idyllic world of luxury resorts, guest satisfaction reigns supreme. But beyond the pristine beaches and opulent villas lies a complex web of human interaction. Resort managers navigate a constant dance of emotions – those of their staff and, of course, their discerning clientele.

While operational expertise is a prerequisite, the ability to manage emotions effectively elevates a good manager to a great leader. Here’s a guide to equip yourself with the tools to navigate the emotional landscape of a luxury resort:

1. Self-Awareness: The Foundation of Emotional Intelligence

The cornerstone of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Recognize your own emotional triggers and how they impact your behavior. Are you prone to frustration under pressure? Do you take criticism personally? By understanding your emotional responses, you can anticipate them and develop coping mechanisms. Take time for introspection – journaling or meditation can be helpful tools.

2. Cultivating Emotional Agility

Resort life is dynamic. Unexpected situations and disgruntled guests are par for the course. Cultivate emotional agility – the ability to adapt to changing situations and regulate your emotions. When faced with a challenge, take a deep breath, assess the situation calmly, and then choose a measured response.

3. The Power of Active Listening

Both staff and guests crave to be heard. Active listening demonstrates empathy and builds trust. When someone expresses a concern, give them your full attention. Make eye contact, paraphrase their words to ensure understanding, and acknowledge their feelings. This creates a safe space for open communication and problem-solving.

4. Mastering the Art of Empathy

Empathy allows you to see things from another person’s perspective. Imagine the pressure a new staff member might feel, or the disappointment a guest might experience with a minor setback. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can respond with compassion and understanding, fostering a more positive and collaborative environment.

5. Building a Culture of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is contagious. By demonstrating strong emotional management skills, you set a positive example for your staff. Encourage open communication and emotional vulnerability within your team. Foster a culture where staff feel comfortable expressing their concerns and where constructive criticism is seen as an opportunity for growth.

Veligandu Reception With Models1

Managing Guest Emotions

Luxury guests have high expectations, and sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. Here’s how to navigate guest emotions effectively:

  • Validate their feelings. Acknowledge their disappointment or frustration. Phrases like “I understand your frustration” or “I apologize that this hasn’t met your expectations” go a long way.
  • Focus on solutions. Don’t get defensive. Listen to their concerns and work collaboratively to find a solution that exceeds their initial expectations.
  • Go the extra mile. A small gesture of goodwill, like a complimentary upgrade or a personalized amenity, can often turn a negative experience into a positive one.


Huvafen Fushi Team

Managing Staff Emotions

Staff are the heart and soul of any resort. They directly impact the guest experience. Here are some tips for managing staff emotions:

  • Create a supportive environment. Foster open communication and make yourself readily available to address staff concerns.
  • Recognize and appreciate their efforts. A simple “thank you” or a public shout-out can make a world of difference.
  • Provide opportunities for growth. Offer training and development programs that empower your staff and help them feel valued.
  • Address conflict constructively. When disagreements arise, mediate them fairly and focus on finding solutions, not assigning blame.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be honed with practice. By investing in your own emotional well-being and fostering a culture of emotional intelligence within your team, you can create a luxury resort experience that transcends expectations and leaves a lasting positive impression on both guests and staff.

Photo courtesy: Barcelo Maldives, Veligandu Island Resort and Huvafen Fushi Maldives

Thoiba Riyaz
Thoiba Riyaz is a seasoned training and development professional with more than 15 years of expertise in the Maldivian tourism industry. She is equipped with a master's degree in tourism management from the University College Birmingham.