There was a lot of industry news this past week you may have missed. Here are some headlines that caught our eyes.
The Case of the Errant Hot-Dog Toss
“Can a hulking man in an outlandish costume fire a projectile into a crowd, hit someone in the eye, and get away with it? Maybe—if the costumed guy is the Kansas City Royals mascot, and the projectile is a hot dog that’s fired into the stands during a baseball game.”
SMT Panel: How NFL Programming is Driving Viewership
—Sports Business Journal
“The opening panel at Day 2 of the ’13 Covington & Burling Sports Media & Technology conference was a discussion among three NFL team presidents and two network execs on what is being done and what we can expect in relation to the in-stadium experience.”
Want to Innovate? First Get Rid of What’s Not Working
“Sometimes in order to get things done, futurethink CEO and founder Lisa Bodell was saying, ‘You have to stop doing things.'”
Can You See the Opportunities Staring You in the Face?
—Harvard Business Review
“Companies suffer from inattention blindness too. And in a business context, the weird thing that gets overlooked can turn out to be a crucial differentiating factor. If one company doesn’t notice it, another will—to great advantage.”
Google Maps Now Lets You Preview International Travel With Images of Airports, Rail/Subway Stations
—The Next Web
“Google Maps features a range of international transit locations, including 16 airports, more than 50 train and subway stations and even details of a cable car station in Hong Kong and the inside of an Emirates A380 plane at Dubai Airport.”
How to Get Press for Anything
“Should you listen to my advice? Yes, absolutely. I even reached out to my friends at TechCrunch, Forbes, ReadWrite, and other publications so that you could hear directly from the writers themselves on the best way to get their attention.”
Our latest issue of Facility Manager is now online and available for you to flip through, read, and share.
Highlights include features about projection mapping, technology trends in venues, situational awareness, and Nina D. Simmons’ favorite app.
Please check out the issue, and let us know what you think. Thank you.
I’d like to continue with the narrative I’ve started about knowing yourself and how it makes you a better leader with another story on that topic from Rice University. Researchers there found that conscientious people are more likely to provide good customer service because they are aware of how positive interactions affect perception. The study examined links between personality traits and effective behavior in customer service scenarios.
“Performance in a professional service capacity is not just knowing about what the product is and how it works, but how to sell and talk about it,” said Stephan Motowidlo, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Psychology at Rice University and the study’s lead author.
Motowidlo said that historically, institutions have been very good at examining the technical side of individuals’ jobs through IQ tests. However, an interest in the nontechnical side—the “softer, interpersonal” side—has increased.
“Much like intelligence impacts knowledge acquisition—driving what you learn and how much you know—personality traits impact how interpersonal skills are learned and used,” Motowidlo said. “People who know more about what kinds of actions are successful in dealing with interpersonal service encounters—such as listening carefully, engaging warmly, and countering questions effectively—handle them more effectively, and their understanding of successful customer service is shaped by underlying personality characteristics.”
Motowidlo hopes the study will encourage future research about how personality helps individuals acquire the knowledge they need to perform their jobs effectively.
I wrote a blog post the other day about a trait that all successful leaders have. Today, I’ve come across another study that reinforces that trait—namely to know yourself. This time we’re talking about emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the awareness of and management your emotions. Knowing how much emotion plays a part in your life can help you make better decisions.
“People often make decisions that are influenced by emotions that have nothing to do with the decisions they are making,” said Stéphane Côté, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, who co-wrote the study with lead researcher Jeremy Yip of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Research has found that we fall prey to this all the time.”
Côté uses the work commute as an example.
“They get to work and the emotions they felt in their car influences what they do in their offices,” Côté said. “Or they invest money based on emotions that stem from things unrelated to their investments. But our investigation reveals that if they have emotional intelligence, they are protected from these biases.”
In one experiment, participants with low levels of emotional understanding allowed anxiety not related to their primary choices affect the decisions. Higher emotionally intelligent participants didn’t let the anxiety cloud their choices.
In another experiment, it was found that people with lower levels of emotional intelligence could block unrelated emotions from influencing decisions about risk if they were made aware that the anxiety was not related to the decisions being considered.
“The findings suggest that an emotionally intelligent approach to making decisions is if you’re feeling anxious because of something unrelated to the decisions, to not make the decisions right away,” Côté said.
Emotional intelligence is an on-going process, and Daniel Goleman—an expert in the subject—suggests five ways to build it up: 1) self-awarness, 2) self-regulation, 3) internal motivation, 4) empathy, and 5) social skills. All these can be grouped under the maxim “know thyself.”
Côté recommends that learning to pay attention to only the feelings—negative or positive—that are relevant to the decision at hand is what counts.
“People who are emotionally intelligent don’t remove all emotions from their decision-making,” Côté said. “They remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision.”
We’re coming to the end of Movember, that annual time when men grow mustaches for a month to raise awareness for men’s health. Some of you may even think you look sharp with your new ‘stache and decide to keep it forever. You might even grow out the rest of your facial hair, because hey, it’s winter and your face could use a blanket of fur to shield it from cold winds.
If you’re in guest relations, though, you may want to reconsider that plan. According to a new study appearing in the November issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, hotel guests found clean-shaven men more assuring than bearded men. The guests also found men and women who smile and are attractive to be more assuring.
“We know that customers prefer to interact with physically attractive employees, and meta-analyses find that employee physical attractiveness and nonverbal behaviors (such as smiling) are positively associated with employer evaluations,” the researchers wrote in “The Frontline Provider’s Appearance: A Driver of Guest Perceptions.”
The researchers said that past studies on physical appearance did not address features that elicit personality attributes, something their study would examine.
A panel of 102 participants were asked to evaluate knowledge, courtesy, trust, and confidence based on an employee photograph (pulled from Internet stock photos). The participants ascribed greater assurance ability to clean-shaven men. However, the beard effect did not change the assessment of African-American men. Just Caucasian men with beards were deemed less effective than those without.
“The practical implications of these findings are as follows: (1) Except under special circumstances, hotel firms should not permit their employees to wear beards; (2) hotel firms should incorporate genuine smiling training in their customer service training and should evaluate frontline provider smiling with programs such as mystery shopping; and (3) within appropriate legal and ethical boundaries, hotel firms should put in place, manage, and enforce grooming policies that could influence the facial attractiveness ratings of their employees,” the researchers wrote.
Granted, this study focused on hotel employees. I wonder, though, if its findings cut across a variety of industries. Do you find bearded men less assuring? Would you set a no-beard policy in your venue if you knew it would help with the guest experience?