Asking questions can give a bed and breakfast owner back the power to ensure all the guests around the table enjoy the food and conversation.
No matter what topic I am addressing, I am generally seeking the opportunity to gather information. And that involves asking questions.
Questions can be useful in other circumstances also…
One of the biggest nightmares every bed and breakfast owner has is around controversial conversation at the breakfast table. It may be the topic or the opinions about it that are expressed.
Recently I read an article about how to take control of a conversation that could be upsetting or inappropriate to other guests at the table.
Some good tips include:
- Never participate in this type of conversation
- Stand silently by the side of the table until someone notices you (people generally assume you want to ask them a question related to the B&B) – so that you can interrupt the flow of conversation
- If you can’t get control of the conversation, speak with the individual later and ask them to discontinue such topics while at your bed and breakfast; if you know other guests were offended, you can apologize to them separately
- Consider the placement of people around the table – many people who tend to choose the ends of the table do so because they feel they can “be in charge”
I suggest the first thing you must do is to acknowledge that you really don’t have control over other people. Then after taking a deep breath:
- Understand that some people can be inappropriate and it is not your fault
- You need to be positive and assertive about taking control of the situation
- Stay focused on the key issue, which is trying to stop the conversation from continuing
- Don’t get provoked into an argument
- Smile, be positive and friendly
- Introduce a few positive statements to lift the mood
- If you are not good at reading body language and you are not sure which direction the conversation is going in, you can use questions to clarify a statement or invite someone else into the conversation to share their views
- Redirect the whole conversation through the use of questions – by starting a new discussion, or re-direct the current discussion into safer waters
It is the art of re-direction that can literally save the day. And asking questions can give a bed and breakfast owner back that power to ensure all the guests around the table enjoy the food and conversation.
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