“True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person.” Kathleen Norris, 19th-century American novelist
I am in India for a wedding this week; more about that in next week’s newsletter.
As a warm-up, I want to talk about the power of hospitality –– a word the Oxford dictionary defines as the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”
I prefer that definition to others because everyone falls into at least one of the categories of guest, visitor, or stranger. It’s all-inclusive.
Before I arrived in India, one of my professional colleagues, Sumeet Shetty (you can listen to him on the podcast), reached out to one of his friends to ask for advice on what I should wear to the wedding. He then volunteered to travel to Delhi from Bangalore for the day to give me a tour of the city.
I think of Sumeet as a friend, but I’m a stranger to his friends; nevertheless, several people in that circle have made a great effort to extend hospitality to me. When I think about how I have felt because of Sumeet’s kindness and that of his friends, phrases that describe how I feel are “deep appreciation, cared for.”
Hospitality is a superpower for some and a mystery to others. Most of us fall on a continuum between these two extremes. Sumeet is one of the people I know with an innate gift for hospitality.
Once upon a time in Russia (the early 19th century), it was said that households that were open to receiving guests would put lighted candles in a street-side window so that acquaintances could see them. The lighted candles signal that the home was hoping to receive company. If someone was bored at home, they could go out or send a servant to see if candles were burning in neighboring windows. Those who desired companionship and conversation could use the simple method to get together.
Hospitality arises from an open heart and results in the recipient becoming more open-hearted too. We make accommodations, let go of bias, and give and receive generously. There’s a spaciousness that welcomes people into our lives, despite the differences, limited resources, or even distance.
Hospitality isn’t limited to our personal lives. I think there are applications with our teams as well. When we hold a meeting or an offsite, do people feel truly and genuinely welcome?
What are your thoughts?
Have you been on the receiving end of hospitality recently?
Is hospitality your superpower?
What is your equivalent of a candle in the window?
What could you do to make your next team meeting or offsite more hospitable?
This week’s podcast episode is with Timothy Harrison, CEO and founder of EPOG (Enjoyable Pain of Growth) Academy. EPOG Academy is a non-profit that brings professional leadership coaching and evidence-based personal development to underserved high school students to empower them to create a brighter future for themselves.
As always, thank you for being here!
P.S. If you are a coach or leader looking for an opportunity to help others grow, check out the Disruption Advisors’ Smart Growth Certification program. Learn more and register here.