NLP in the Hospitality Sector

At the Edge Hotel School (EHS), students experience Hospitality and Events (H&E) in an experiential learning context.

NLP in the Hospitality Sector

Posted by Simon Lewis on

“At the Edge Hotel School (EHS), University of Essex, students experience Hospitality and Events (H&E) in an experiential learning context. This takes place also in the form of industry engagement, where industry professionals share their knowledge and expertise with students. In my role of lecturer of H&E Management, students often ask me what do I think is one of the most important quality of a H&E Manager? In an age of digital communication, there is not a simple and straightforward answer. Yet, effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills and competencies are certainly key to effective communication to guests and colleagues.

How employees interact with guests/clients or simply among one another can make the difference between a great and a disappointing communication experience. We all interact and respond to communication in different ways. Therefore, I endeavour to bring different communication theories and strategies to my students. 

I contacted ANLP International CIC, the Professional body for Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and asked if they could approach their Members with experience in an H&E environment, to see if any were willing to introduce some of their experiences and skills to the students.  ANLP provided me with a list of certified NLP professionals with relevant H&E experience.  

NLP is one of the strategies that can have a positive impact towards greater experiences for guests and employees alike in the H&E environment, even more so when guest speakers have an H&E industry prior knowledge and experience. Thus, I invited H&E industry aware NLP speakers to introduce NLP in class providing students with examples of how NLP can be used in the H&E environment to increase sales and/or enhance customer service through improved (management) skills and relationship building.  Some of the tools and techniques that can improve customer service include making qualitative outcomes more measurable (through a goal setting process) and modelling excellence (via enhanced self-awareness in terms of value and beliefs).

Students learn best when they take ownership of their learning. Hence, I strive to achieve a non-prescriptive learning environment; students decide for themselves what to take from these sessions. Overall, guest speaker sessions on communication seem to encourage the ability to develop a varied response to the different needs of a number of stakeholders. Students that reflect on alternative communication strategies, such as NLP, improve their ability to identify guests’ needs and to respond to them more appropriately. My aim is to enhance students’ repertoire of responses so that they can be more flexible and adapt to what is needed to create more positive guest’s interactions.” 

Dimitri Lera 
Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex

“I read the ANLP Trainer Monthly Newsletter/Update from March 2021 and noticed the request for a pro bono presentation to Level 6 students at a University Hotel School.  With my hospitality sector experience, I saw this as a great opportunity to pass on some knowledge and raise awareness of NLP in the process.  I sent in my resume and was selected by the University.

I did the Edge Hotel School presentation in mid-June and afterwards received some lovely feedback from Dimitri and several of his students (I’ve had a number of Dimitri’s students reach out for more info since then.) All were engaged, enthusiastic and keen to discover actionable tools that will help to improve their hotel careers. Dimitri seemed pleased with the session and indicated he would like to arrange a repeat session at some stage.

With only an hour we could barely scratch the surface of NLP! There is much more to share with the students at Edge Hotel School in future.

Simon Lewis
The Mindsmith Group
ANLP Trainer Member

Simon Lewis
Simon Lewis

With the world as it is today, the value of not just surviving but thriving has become more important than ever.