It’s the holidays, and airports and hotels everywhere are overrun with travelers and booked solid. I love hotels, let’s just get that out of the way. My husband and I stay in hotels all over the world, and I have a few opinions about what makes a great hotel. My husband on the other hand,, because hotels are a huge part of his working life, has a list of requirements.
For instance, he doesn’t understand why more hotel rooms aren’t equipped with hooks. A hook by the door for your overcoat, hooks in the bathroom for your hanging toiletry bag, etc. To him, the lack of hotel room hooks is one of life’s great mysteries.
He needs a quiet hotel room but in a busy section of town so he can walk out the hotel front door and easily find food. He likes conveniently situated wall plugs, a good bed and blackout curtains. I like all that stuff too but this year I discovered another necessary ingredient for a great hotel—happiness.
We had the unexpected privilege of spending several nights in London in one of the worlds great hotels—The Langham. At the Langham everyone is happy to see you. If you ask for a croissant to take away from breakfast at one of their many restaurants they give you three, in the loveliest pink, origami purse-like box. They hand it to you with a big smile. You accept it like a gift and smile back.
If you ask any one of the myriad of employees a question they immediately pause to listen to you as if standing there in the foyer of the hotel chatting with you for five minutes makes them happy. If you stop one of the housekeeping staff for a towel, they smile and share antecdotes. The front desk managers always know your name.
At breakfast one morning I said to my husband’s boss, “Everyone here is so happy!” He answered, “Or, it’s the assumption of happiness, isn’t it?” And just like that, it hit me: Thats the secret sauce in successful hotels, or business or life in general—The assumption of happiness.
What if every person on your team operated under the assumption of happiness, and every interaction they have transfers that assumption? I assume every employee at The Langham Hotel is happy. If I lived in that hotel forever. I’d soak up all that saturated happiness, then take it with me and pass it on in my next interactions.
And that’s the magic of assuming happiness, you ‘act as if’ and before you know it, it becomes your reality, everyone around you is happy. In fact, I’m going to operate under the assumption of happiness for the rest of this year. 2019 I’ll re-asses.