I’m Italian. As a kid I remember that my parents would never have a person enter our home without offering them some food or drink. Then my parents would encourage them with the phrase “Mangia! Mangia!” exhorting them to eat, eat!
We called that showing respect. Which was a very big thing in our Italian Canadian household. All guests were treated with respect, which meant not just welcoming them warmly but also anticipating their needs and taking care of those needs.
Recently I was invited to deliver a lunch seminar for a business. I arrived early to set up but there was no one at the front desk. There was a sign posted to ring the bell for attention and so I did.
My contact was not in the office and the employee who eventually came out to see me had no idea why I was there. She helped me set up the training room and then left. Soon after the employees arrived for the training session and began to eat their lunch.
No one introduced themselves to me or offered me a coffee, let alone a glass of water. I had to ask for it. No “Mangia! Mangia!” for me. The topic of the training session was professional dress but I think they also needed our business etiquette training.
It always amazes me when I go to a place of business where I’m not treated like a welcome guest. Do they do it on purpose? No, it’s an oversight or a sin of omission. In our business etiquette training we discuss treating clients the way we do guests in our homes. We call that, the Host Mentality and it’s all about showing respect.
Believe me people notice when the host mentality is displayed in an organization. And they notice when it’s missing. Businesses and professionals who want to standout and build strong relationships with clients need to be mentally saying “Mangia! Mangia!” in all their points of customer contact.
What host mentality tips have you got or “Mangia! Mangia!” moments have stood out for you?