Hotel Online  Special Report

Coaching and Mentoring, Part Two Sometimes
A New Paradigm Can Go A Long Way

by Neil L. Salerno, CHME  June 2003

I was really surprised by the rather large response from my article on coaching / mentoring in last monthís Hotel-Online publication. Iím grateful that they were positive and supportive. Thank you to those who took the time to email me. Because of this, Iíll take the chance to amplify my feelings on coaching.

Over the past thirty plus years, I have had several mentors who took the time to give me the benefit of their wisdom and experience. No one stands out more then Howard Feiertag, a hospitality professor at Virginia Tech and columnist for Hotel/Motel Management magazine for the past twenty-five years or so.

Thirty years ago, Howard was corporate director of sales and I was in charge of sales for one of his 30 plus hotel responsibilities. Howard coached me to eventually take his place as vice president sales & marketing for the same company, now with 59 hotels by that time. He guides my actions even today. Howard has a trait that all mentors share; he cares. He took joy and pride from my successes. 

Today, hotel sales jobs are much more complicated than they were back then. Competition is keener; hotel products are segmented and designed for almost every type of traveler; and more people come into the business eager to learn and be successful in hotel sales. Learning is often a matter of emulating someone who has the expertise. The great ones learn new techniques, and then improve on them. 

So what is the basic coaching philosophy anyway? Simply put, that we humans are great, that we're all discovering what we really want and that we get can what we want faster and easier by having a coach who's been there and who can help us. 

How is coaching different from consulting? Coaching is a form of consulting. But the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes, and goals to make sure they really happen. Coaches:

  • Help people set better personal and business goals and then reach those goals. 
  • Ask their clients to do more than they would have done on their own. 
  • Focus their clients better to more quickly produce results. 
  • Provide the tools, support, and structure to accomplish more. 
Coaching works for several reasons: 
  • Synergy between the coach and client creates momentum. 
  • Better goals are set -- ones that naturally pull the client toward the goal rather than goals that require the client to push themselves to the goal. 
  • The client develops new skills, and these skills translate into more success.
  • Some clients hire a coach to help them accomplish specific goals or projects. Usually, however, the client keeps working with the coach after that because there are even more interesting things to accomplish.
More and more people are beginning to become focused on this interesting twist on consulting called coaching. Coaching is even more effective when combined with training in some form. 

My advice, for everyone in our industry, is to change your paradigm and check into coaching. It could be well worth the investment.

Neil L. Salerno, CHME
Hotel & Internet Marketing Solutions, LLC
1369 South Wembley Circle
Port Orange, Florida 32128
386/767-8496 Ė mobile 386/212-2846
Also See: Sales Training Works Well, But Sales Mentoring Makes It More Effective; Mentoring Lasts a Lifetime / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Is It Time For A Sales Tune-up? How Healthy Was Your Last Forecast? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... Youíll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelierís Mantra... Thinking Outside The Box / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003
Good Sales Planning - The Basics Still Work / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003

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