December, the month where we give the most as well as receive. Gifts and cards, food and song. A joyous season all around.
Is the art of giving nobler than receiving?
In my research I found an insightful article that expresses a view that the art of receiving is equally important.
Here is the author’s first hand scenario from The Art of Giving and Receiving
Last summer, I went on a day hike with a group of strangers, arranged by a company I regularly go on daily adventures with and always have an amazing time.
It was an unusual hot August day that reached 98 degrees, and the humidity was so high, it almost felt like hiking in a hot thick soup. It was a tough hike no matter how slow we walked and how many water/rest stops we took. The harsh conditions started effecting some of the people in the group and they were struggling, we were all struggling, but some more than others.
After another break where one of the girls was completely out of breath and not feeling well, I offered to carry her backpack for her. It took a lot of convincing and she was very uncomfortable with accepting my help.
But then I turned to her and asked her.
“If the situation was opposite, and I was struggling, would you offer to help me?” “Of course, I would” she answered.
“And if I accepted your help, how would you feel?”
“I would feel great. I love helping others and giving” she answered.
“Great”, I said to her, “Because I really like helping too. And for you to receive my help right now it is a great gift to me. One that I could not experience unless you allow me to give to you. So, your receiving is actually a gift to me. Thank you”.
She turned around to me, and with an open smile of gratitude said. “Wow, I never looked at it this way. That is so true. Okay, yes, please help me with my backpack for a little bit until I feel stronger”.
As innkeepers we give a lot!
And if we do a good job, we receive a lot as well. How many times have you been given a big hug and thank you from departing guests? It is amazing right? I recall the first time Rick and I got those hugs, we looked at each other and later expressed the surprise and delight in the experience.
In addition, innkeepers often feel overwhelmed and exhausted at times. Feel like we are giving, giving, giving and not receiving anything back.
So…if your ‘giving’ is draining you, you may not be allowing yourself to receive?
Responding to compliments that your guests give you is important, and there is an art to it as well.
Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable when you receive a compliment? Do you feel that it is a sign of weakness to fully embrace the complimentary gift from your guests?
The author of this article expresses that letting go of the ‘common resistance’ we sometimes feel can complete the circle of the art of giving and receiving. Like breathing in and breathing out. Both equally important!
When guests thank you for a wonderful relaxed time, a fabulous breakfast and good recommendations of activities and places to dine, it comes from the heart. Responding with openness and fully embracing their sincere gift will complete the circle and will make both giver and receiver feel grateful.
“Receiving becomes giving and giving becomes receiving”.
One way of completing the circle is responding to your positive reviews. Use a personal touch to let the reviewer know you are responding to them personally and not just an automatic generic response. If you don’t feel comfortable responding on the reviewing platform, then send them an email. Taking the time to give back to those guests who have taken the time to express their thanks will complete the circle.
So this December and the circle of months that follow, The B&B Team thanks you for your giving spirit as innkeepers, a spirit that makes this industry so unique and special. Also for your support of our team. You have given us your trust in our ability to give you our knowledge and experience. We are here to help you with your backpack, climbing and descending the mountain.
Thanks for Listening,
Peter and Peggy Scherman, Rick and Janet Wolf, Marilyn Bushnell, Eliot and Tish Dalton, Linda Hayes, Julie Pankey and Kim Williams