I am a word nerd. I like to know the underlying meanings of words, especially those that grab our current attention. Resilience is one of those words. So when I looked up definitions, I found this one from the Oxford dictionary particularly helpful: “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape.”
As hosts we are particularly impacted by all that’s going on here in Oregon. The pandemic with its need for distancing, smoke from our wildfires and the disturbing protests that seem endless in Portland, just one of these would be enough, but all combined really mess with us!
So Resilience looks like something we might all want to explore, and bring into our lives and in our hosting businesses more. It was a relief to me, thankfully, to learn that we can all learn to be resilient.
While I am speaking here of our ability to learn and to practice resilience for ourselves, I also recognize that many of our guests these days are also yearning for some form of relief. Our welcoming can be a respite and give them space to reconnect, to re-energize, to find their own ability to face challenges and to “spring back into shape.”
In my research I discovered a great article published in March 2020 in Psychology Today which I commend to you for a deeper dive into this wonderful topic.
Seven Skills of Resilience | Psychology Today
And, for another spin on Resilience, check out this art exhibit produced by The Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen, Colorado. They bill it as “a multidisciplinary exhibit that speaks to the moment.“ I learned of this exhibit when my son, Brian, told me several portraits he painted were included. The exhibit overview reminded me that resilience applies to each of us as hosts.
May you all find your resilience and put the spring back in your step!
Alan Colley, Host2Host President
How do you measure success? By the number of nights you have booked? By the size of your bank account? By the number of times you have been awarded SuperHost status? Or by some other measure?
This letter is a shout out to Chip Conley, the former Head of Global Hospitality at Airbnb and now Founder of Modern Elder Academy in Baja Sur, California, Mexico. When the founders of Airbnb were interviewing him to join their organization, they put this “success” question to him. They were not expecting his answer: “Airbnb will be successful when we are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
When I heard his response it completely shifted my view of what hosting could actually mean. Sure, it is important to see our hosting bring us income so we can pay our bills, and in some cases, remain in our homes. Yet it’s not too far fetched to acknowledge that welcoming guests to our communities does break down fear and barriers.
I know in our case, greeting and welcoming people from all over the globe, watching them share experiences and laughter with our local neighbors, we know something special is happening. When we notice these encounters, Dabney and I have often looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Nobel Peace Prize.”
There is no denying that the world we live in is in turmoil. The whole hospitality industry is severely challenged. Yet as we strive to reimagine and create new ways to welcome guests, there is something quite wonderful about lifting our sights above the turmoil to see that at its heart, hosting is about connection, building community and creating a climate that deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.
Thanks for being an important part of Host2Host!
Alan Colley, President Host2Host