The Welcome Protocols: FaceMask Hospitality

How do you resolve the idea of little human contact when providing hospitality? Hotels, cruise lines and tour operators are searching for answers to this question. The question is analogous to the yearning  of wanting to hug a friend but having to hold back…so NOT natural! 
 
To distance ourselves we’ve relied on technology. Just ask my high school class! Thanks to Zoom my High School classmates have talked more in the last five months than in thirty years! Still, technology only goes so far. We miss experiencing each other’s presence, facial expressions, and subtle physical contact. We miss travel and the smiles of those we don’t know, perhaps different from ourselves, greeting us in the hospitality of their rich culture. 
 
Regardless of safety protocols it’s still possible to create hospitality and make a person feel welcome. If you haven’t seen many friends recently, consider how you greet them online or on the phone. Unconviced?
 
Here are Five Ways to create a Welcome Protocol on the road, at home, or in town with work associates, friends, neighbors and family.

1. Arrive Somewhere  When first getting together, intentionally pause.  Ask permission just to stand and take a few breaths to arrive fully with the other person there. Explain that you’ve had a busy day and want to fully appreciate the opportunity to be with them by “arriving fully”. “Is it ok if we just take a few breaths together?”.  At an online conference recently, “moving” between consecutive, ten- minute One-On-One’s, I asked for thirty seconds of arrival time. Every meeting participant so appreciated the very brief pause. Although our actual meeting started later, we were so much more engaged and present with one another.  

2. Be Curious Wearing a facemark doesn’t prevent us from asking questions. Engage in genuine conversation and listen deeply to your friends and family. A feeling of connection ensues when a person feels heard.

3. Find the Urban Zen Nature reminds us of our wholeness and connection to the earth and one another.  If possible go to a park, a rooftop, garner a view, be together in nature.

4. Go for the eye wrinkles  Even if you’re wearing a mask smile big! Smile so much that your mouth begins to hurt and your eyes crinkle. Your happiness at seeing the other person will be felt.

5. Move Slower  What’s the rush! Covid19 has taught us that less is more. Being bored isn’t necessarily bad. We don’t need an agenda. Relax and see what unfolds. Slow things down to notice and enjoy being with another person.  What a relief!

As Elenor Rosevelt said, “True Hospitality consists of Giving The Best Of Yourself To Your Guests”.  
Here’s to your Best!