Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A visit to the highly recommended Adelphi Restaurant

A beautiful evening with beautiful people and food

On a very quick visit to Malta, 2 days to be precise, I was invited to go to Adelphi restaurant in Rabat, Malta. I had already heard great things about it, so I was excited to go. Situated in a large passageway in the heart of Rabat’s centre, it is a perfect location for Rabat residents, Maltese coming from outside of Rabat, and tourists alike, to go and enjoy some mouthwatering dishes.

Upon entering, I got a sense of comfort, friendliness and very family oriented, which suited me well as I was there with my immediate family, ready to enjoy what Adelphi had to offer. After ordering a bottle of wine and talking to some of the waitresses, I was told that it was family run; from the owners of the restaurants, to the chefs and the waiters. That’s why I got such a homely feeling within seconds of being there!

Talking to KellyMarie, a joint owner of Adelphi along with her husband, she explained how everyone’s involvement is so important and so special to the huge success of Adelphi. Everyone working with detail and with a smile on their face, and I even got to go and meet 2 of the family chefs.

Adelphi offers several dishes from pasta, meat, pizza, fish, kids menu and so much more. I settled for the pizza since I hadn’t had pizza for quite a while, but I could also smell the meat and fish dishes on my table. With a huge apetite, I started eating my pizza and continuing to slowly sip on my red wine, while enjoying the company of my family, the ambiance and the friendliness of our waitress.

Upon more talking, I was informed that years ago (not years of my existence), it uded to be a cinema. Wow. This must be a treat for those that used to go there to watch a movie back in the day. Chatting away with our waitress, we were also informed that there will also be a boutique hotel, right above the restaurant. It forms part of the Quaint hotels in Gozo and will be the first one in Malta. As soon as this opens later this year, Adelphi will also be serving Breakfast and Lunch too.

What a great evening it was! I will definitely go back while on the island again. For all those tourists that go to Rabat and Mdina, be sure to go to Adelphi for some serious food and that good old Maltese style, local service with a smile! Bon Apetit!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Leading by Example

Your Employees are the Result of You

Just like young kids absorbing everything their mother or father does, your new employees, whether they were there before you with another manager, or are new to the company, they will consciously and subconsiously absort the traits of their leader.

I always stress how important it is to lead by example. If you are always shouting at your team when they do something not up to company’s standards, they will start shouting at each ther and at the guests or customers. If you treat them nicely, positively, and take time to guide them through the processes and a step by step explanation, they will take their time with the guests and with each other. Even with you. If you don’t treat them right, they are not going to treat you right eventually either.

You need to create an environment where respect is visible, attention to detail and positivety is apparent. It all starts from you. It starts from the top. Whenever I visit a team on a cruise ship or hotel especially and notice certain traits from the team that are not so good, I always try to see how their manager works, acts and reacts. If a manager for example is not attentive to the team’s questions, requests and so on, they will in time act the same, whether they are getting training by someone, attending a meeting or even with their customers or guests. 

You need to always think as their leader, that they are watching your every move, seeing how you talk, how you deal with escalated issues, your time management, your precision, your work ethic, you positivety, your reaction to certain action, how you respond to difficult questions, how you act in really difficult situations, and so much more. Think. Think for a second. How would you like to see them work? That is exactly how you should work. If you blow up and get visibly upset when dealing with an angry customer, don’t expect your team to deal with the same situation in a different way. Don’t kid yourself and pull them to the side or have a meeting with them to see why they acted that way if you do the same.

Be the better Manager. Be the Better Leader. Show them how the work should be done, and you won’t have too many situations with your team. Always Lead by Example. It is one of the items I always focus on in all of the training that I give with different types of teams and Managers. Leaders and Managers are all different, but leading by example should be the same.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

Twistees

The Forever Delicious and Popular Twistees

On one of my trips for work, leaving from the airport in Malta, I noticed a slightly bigger packet of twistees and with a different packaging. As I went closer, I noticed 6 different packets with 6 different flavors! I didn’t know what to do! I had to get on the plane fast but decided to buy 1 so I could taste. Heaven is all I could say. Wow, what a flavor! This was the Truffle Cheese, and my favourite from the 6. 

Anyone residing or visiting Malta knows about, or even more so, has had Twistees at some point. You can call them the National snack chips of Malta. In fact, you will also notice that on the new packets, there are new designes and also the advertising of the highly anticipated Valletta Capital of Culture 2018- V18. Yes! What better snack to have represent Valletta, Malta, than its favorite snack.

The 6 flavors are the Buttery Cheese, Caramel Cheese, Roast Beef Cheese, Truffle Cheese, Vanilla Cheese and the Classic Cheese. These are all Gluten Free and seriously tasty. 40 years of Twistees has expanded so much and it is even exported to a few other countries like Norway, France, Australia, U.K and more countries.

The next thing you need to do if you are in Malta right now is to go and buy these extremely satisfying snacks. If you are planning to visit between the rest of this year and next year during Valletta European Capital 2018, is to make sure you get your hands on them. If you don’t want to wait until the next visit, then you can order online through the Twistees website.

See ya’all. Time to open a new one! πŸ™‚

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Who Works for Who?

What Some Managers Get Wrong

I don’t mean to start off with the negative, but it is unfortunate to see so many employees become the manager of the team and suddenly think they are better than the rest. Of course, you are now the manager, or one of the managers, for a reason. You have worked hard, put in your efforts, did more than others and so on. But the moment you feel that because you are the Manager, you have a team to work for you and that your team owes you, is the moment that you are devaluing your team, yourself and what you do.

In any management training workshops that I do for many managers in hotels, firms, companies and cruise ships, I start by asking the same question; ” Who are you here for?” In the case of hotels and cruiseships, the majority of the managers tell me that they are here for the guests. WRONG. Managers that have thier own staff/ team to work directly with guests are not there for the guests. These managers are there for their team and their team is there for the guests. Of course, they are there to make sure the guests are happy, but they need to take care of their tram first. Same goes to firms and companies with clients. These managers don’t deal directly with the clients so, but their employees do. I’m not the first one to say this. 

If you feel that your team owes you and that they are there for you, you are very very wrong my friend! YOU work for them. THEY don’t work for you. If your team is not successful, then you are definitely not successful either. The manager needs to be the one working more than his team, developing them, helping them, supporting and empowering them. And this can only be done when the manager is highly present, attentive to his team, guiding and leading them.

When managers think that they have the team to work for them, the guiding, leading, coaching amd empowering stops, and instead, you get an unhappy, overworked, scared of the boss kind of team. Show them you are there for them to help them be better, to succeed and to develop. Remember that the manager’s success relies on the employees’ success, happiness, advancement, empowerment and so much more.

I have always worked hard for my teams. They didn’t work for me. I WORKED FOR THEM. AND STILL DO.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

PLAIT- The Fast Growing Extra Successful Company

The Joys of Receiving Plait

 I am away most of the time. And by away I mean in a different place every couple of days or on cruise ships, which is a big part of my career as a manager and coach. But I love Malta and I miss certain products that can only be found there. Sometimes I want that Kinnie, or that litte bit of Twistees or Gallett. Joy ran through me when one day I found out about the Maltese company Plait, and guess what. I ordered the Maltese Plait. I sent it to my partner’s house (not in Malta) which is where I stay in between ship visits for work. Man was I happy to receive my first Plait!

Looking through their website http://www.plait.com.mt, I was impressed by how many box styles and types had come out. I had a chance to be in Malta for 3 weeks, last September and I wanted to try the wine box, since you all know I am a wine fan and student. You can choose either 2, 4 or 6 bottle boxes. This is perfect whether you live on your own or with your partner, or if you are having a little gethering with friends. You simply buy the 6 bottle Plait box and you are set. The variety is awesome too. The person that delivered this box was extremely happy to be delivering this box and even striked a cool conversation with me. 

Receiving this box from me to me was a gift that was well deserved I felt. Why not!? Or should I say wine not!? hahahaha. Ok. Focus Marie! As you can see below, I was enjoyong this wine straight fromthe box after delivery. I wasn’t enjoyng it alone, my friend was over, but I decided to have some fun with photos to commemorate such a great product.

Plait’s CEO, Daniel Fenech has worked extremely hard, and after giving him a call to let him know this idea and these products are amazing, I saw what a big passion he had to make his company succeed. So much so, a few days ago, he won the Entrepreneur of the year at the JC awards. Companies don’t just happen. They are the result of a lot of work, dedication and lots of passion. Daniel along with his team believe in what they are doing and they love doing it. They have introduced the Beauty Plait to join their other Plait boxes like the Beer Plait and the Organic Plait, apart from the ones I have already mentioned; the Wine Plait and the Malta Plait.

Listen, it’s almost  Christmas and a little birdie told me (well, I meant on Plait’s social media), that they are already taking orders  for the Christmas boxes. So don’t be disappointed this Christmas. Whether you want to buy a box for yourself or for a loved one, there are many choices and a huge variety as well as lots of special items and deals. With the high demand that Plait receives, my reccomendation would be to order now. I did! Visit their website http://www.plait.com.mt. It is very nice and user friendly. Happy Plaiting! :p I’ll keep on enjoying my Plait box for now. Cherio! πŸ™‚

Boosting Tuesdays

Eurosport- A Lifestyle

The Succesful Company that is much more than just a Sports Store

Having been open since 1992, anyone that has lived, is living, or visited Malta will know about the name Eurosport. It was dubbed for having the best sportwear, sports shoes and equipment on the island. Now, it is much more than that. Entering one of their complexes and the largest one, In Birkirkara, I was greated by a staff member and even the security guard said hello. Eurosport has evolved so much more than simply a sports store. It has active and lounge wear, kid friendly equipment, so many brands, and most of all, very comfortable clothes. Not just sports clothes. You have to go and see for yourselves. I guarantee you will spend more than an hour marvelling at the things the Birkirkara store has to show and offer you. There are several more stores around the island, that are smaller, however, with a lot of variety, and most importantly, with friendly and helpful staff. 

I wanted to see a couple of comfortable shoes for my morning strolls, and when I want to go walk round places to explore. My feet are quite bad. I have all sorts of things happening to them that makes most shoes uncomfortable or even hurt me within minutes. As I went to see the skechers brand and tried 2 of them, my oh my was I delighted. They were so light and so comfortable, it was amazing. There were so many choices and so many colors, I hadn’t contemplated and took so long to decide! Next, I wanted an everyday shoes were I could also wear it to go out to events and be able to be comfortable but also look cool. Superga also deivered. This is an amazing brand that I hadn’t encountered before. So colorful, beautiful and most of all stylish.

As I was choosing and as I was trying on the different pairs of shoes, I had an opportunity to talk in depth with two of the staff members that were so happy to help me. Eurosport have expanded to so many stores and sponsor so many athletes, dancers, lifestyle persons, bloggers, events, social media personalities and TV personalities. I was also thrilled that Eurosport wanted to collaborate with me, and I have never had such a relaxed and comfortable photoshoot! (If your feet are happy, your body is happy too.)

Looking at the variety they had for a comfortable sweatshirt and a pair of leggings, I immediately found my style. It’s amazing how they have brands that contain style, sleakness, functionality, comfort and so much more.  Eurosport wants you to #bethechange and change your lifestyle into a healthier one with better food and better fitness activity, and brings you everything to help you do this. It only starts once, and you will be attached to having a better you and taking care of yourself. Everyone has a different lifestyle, work, relationship, ambition and determination, but there surely is something for everyone at Eurosport! 

See you there!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Working with Guests and Customers- An Introduction

How to Deal with an extremely Irate Guest

If your work consists mostly of dealing and talking with guests and customers, then you have for sure at some point come across someone very upset, rude, or both. Most of the time it is because they are not happy with a service or product. After years of this experience, I will tell you now, that 98% of the time they are right to be upset and angry. But not directly at you (unless you really have done someting personal to the guests that affects them personally). And most of the time, they are genuine. It took me a few years to really have this embeded in me, until I had figured it out, mainly because of experience and different training sessions. And during that time, I would say, I pissed off a few guests with becoming angry because they were angry, didn’t beleive them, or made the situation worse. It didn’t happen a lot,  but I am not afraid to say it happened a few times in those few years. For me, now, that is unacceptable.

Today we will look at some of the many steps that the manager and the employee need to have run through theit thoughts whenever they are faced with a really upset guest or customer. We will go much more in depth in the blog sessions to come, but I wanted to briefly highlight a few of them today. Remember, how you respond can make the difference between a customer or guest that feels satisfied with the resolution and one who vows to never patronize your business again.

Steps:

The 1st step you need to take is to remain calm and poised. If this doesn’t happen or you loose it very fast, what follows is in vain. Believe me when I say this. It happened to me. As soon as you loose your cool, you are done. The next steps are very hard to achieve. If a guest is yelling, being loud, or otherwiese rude, nothing can be gained by responding in a similar manner. The customer’s tirade might make you ffel like yelling yourself, but don’t. Control yourself. Remember, it is not personal. They just need to let someone know and that someone is you, in your position. 

The 2nd step is to use your best lisening skills  and let them know you are truly listening. The first thign an angry customer or guest wants to do is vent, and to do so, you are there to listen. Listening patiently can diffuse a situation as long as they feel acknowledged. Body language is also very important. Miantain eye contact and a strong straight posture. This shows how closely you are paying attention to their problem. Take notes and don’t talk, let them talk. After they finish, repeat and summarize what they have said and ask if the information you gathered is correct. Be patient and aknowledge the guest’s right to be angry. 

The next big step, even though I have already mentioned it, is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Listen to their emotions without any of your emotions. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you.

After these 4 steps, it is time for you to action.  There are a few more steps you need to take. Now that they have vented, you listened, you need to assist them, apologize and mean what you say and what you do.
Next Monday we will cover the next few steps, like sympathizing, empathizing, apologizing,  speaking softly, voicing your solution to the customer, owning it and taking responsibility. Stat tunes for thr continuation next week! Have a great and productive week.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A Nice Cup of Coffee at Jacob’s Brew- Pay it Forward

A great time with Jacob and his family, two and a half months after its successful opening

On a short visit to my home country, Malta, I wanted to visit Jacob and his Pay It Forward Coffee Shop. It was a beautiful October Day in Marsaskala. It is hard to imagine something happening to you or a dear person close to you, out of the blues. The strength that one needs from their loved ones is tremedous, and that was exactly what Jacob’s parents did. After months and months battling in hospital, his family started the road to recovery and ensuring that Jacob keeps on living his life as normal as possible. Fast Forward to a really successful support group, started by his mom Sarah, called Survivors Malta, and an also successful Coffee shop, sipping a hot Cappucino and talking to Jacob was really nice. He’s a really cool dude by the way πŸ™‚

The coffee shop is located in a prime location in Marsaskala, Malta, overlooking the sea, has complimentary wifi and is also dog friendly. Talking with him and with Sarah, his mom, she showed how much love and care she possesses for Jacob, the coffee shop and other families that might be passing through a similar thing. When you buy your coffee, your receipt is stamped and you have a chance to give that stamped receipt to families that are facing certain traumas. They will in turn get a pot of tea or coffe complimentary, however, the most important thing about it is that they can connect with Jacob and his parents, and they will help them find other families that have survived what they were or still going through and give them the needed support.

If you have done something, as small or big as it is, to help someone in need, you know the satisfaction you feel when you help them or even the achievement of making them happy or to forget for a little while. This is exactly what paying it forward means. The more good you do, the more good that goes around. If you don’t have anything particularly happening in your life, it doesn’t mean that others don’t have something happening to them, or that it doesn’t happen to you at some point. Helping and remaining positive, spreads the same thing, and the feeling in Jacob’s brew is 100% positive.

They are open all week between 8am and 6pm, serving coffees, teas, cakes, positive vibes, smiles, and from the morning until 4pm, even sandwiches and so much more. Jacob is an inspiring person, extremely friendly and has a cool sense of humor. He is positive and caring. I was lucky enough to meet his mom and dad also, who help him tremendously in all of his journeys, especially this one. Sometimes, we need other people to help us make it through and in certain times, to bond together even more. True pillars for this young Jacob to succeed and inspire others. It was very nice meeting you, and I will surely come again when I am on the island next!

Go on, go have a coffee, and Pay it Forward! Visit Jacob’s Brew, and connect families facing certain traumas to the group Survivors Malta.

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

What Type of Leader Should you Aspire to Be?

Here are a few notes on what to expect when you become a new leader and how to make yourself become a great one

When I became an Assistant Manager at the Cruise Line Company I work for, even though I had managed before, it was a totally different thing. Imagine the difference of quantity of staff, guests and work, between a hotel and very large cruise ships. During my first few weeks as the Assistant Manager, I needed time to know my team and my manager. I kind of remember being a little too soft, in an attempt to make sure they like me. Everyone kind of does it, but I knew it wasn’t the way. I also knew that I shouldn’t be the other extreme either, by just being too strict and telling them what to do. So I focused on showing them how I want them to work and talk to our guests by doing it myself. That way, I was leading by example.

Being a Manager doesn’t mean that you make your team work so that you could look good. Being a Manager is Leading your team into success and ensuring they are succesful. It means that you work for them because they work for the guests. You are there for them, to lead and guide them, protect them, train them, and make sure they are successful for themselves. When I then became the Manager, that was exactly what I aimed to do, with little failure.

If you expect your employees to come to work 5 minutes before, you should also do the same. If you expect your employees to treat your guests or customers with empathy and with kindness, you should do the same. Treat your employees really good. Respect their work, give them good feedback as much as possible, and listen to their ideas and also their life stories and what they are going through. BUT, don’t expect them to do the same for you. They don’t work for you, it’s the other way round. Don’t expect them to tell you what a good job you did with that irate guest, don’t expect them to listen to what is happening to you, and most importantly don’t expect everyone to like you. 

Once, I was opening one of our new ships and I had started training the managers and the teams by now, something I really love doing, and one of the employees told me “Wow Marie, you are so good. Everyone loves you.” While that comment was very positively natured and well meant by this employee, I did thank her but reassured her that it is not possible to have everyone love you and the way you work. If everyone loves you, then you are doing something wrong as a manager. Yes, the aim is to have the majority of the employees like you, and like working with you, but you cannot satisfy everyone. It is impossible. There will be either people who don’t like how you work or deal with things through charachter, others that stick to the past managers or others that like how you work so much that they get envious. So you see, “everyone loving you” cannot happen. As a Manager, you do need to have most of your employees liking you or else it doesn’t work. Respect your team and they will respect you. Bend over and backward and sideways for your team, but if they don’t do their job properly, show them how, and also show them the consequences and how you expect them to work, through your leadership and performance.

When you become a new manager, make sure you do get to kow your team and that they get to know that you are there for them. Set examples, not just deadlines. Set great and rewarding targets, not just numbers. Make sure they feel comfortable approaching you for assistance. And for yourself, as a leader, make sure you are happy leading, make sure you are doing everything in your power and work to achieve their success and not their love.

Be a Better Leader than you were Yesterday.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

The Magnificent Boutique Hotel of The Saint John in the Heart of Valletta, Malta

Exploring all the Historic and Modern Wonders coming together



On a very quick stay in Malta, I wanted to be in the heart of Valletta, the island’s Capital. I wanted to sleep and wake up in that city, and that is why I chose to stay at the beautiful and elegant, freshly inuagurated The Saint John Boutique Hotel. I wanted a place were it was calm and quiet, had space to work, relax, feel pampered, create moments with my partner, and most of all, not need to get a car to go around Valletta. This place had them all checked!

After I took a moment to capture its beauty and history from the outside, all the way to the inside of the hotel, I went to check in at the reception, given the details and my RFID room key. I had some work to do first and wanted to have it ready fast so I could explore the beautiful hotel and then Valletta. As I entered the room, I had to take in a deep breath as this was the most amazing, welcoming, sophisticated yet with a home feeling kind of room. I also had to take a moment to test the mesmerizing technology that the room has. Don’t think that a historic building would not accomodate today’s modern technology, as this far exceeded many hotels that I had to stay in for work.

After a few minutes of letting this all sink in, I sat at the beautifully decorated and inviting desk. Working away, I had never felt happier doing my work, knowing that I had so much in store after that. I happily closed my laptop to start getting ready for the evening. The spacious and modern bathroom was so beautiful to see, that I didn’t even want to use it. But hey, a girl needs a nice warm shower and a few minutes to get dressed and prepare for the evening. Well.. maybe more than a few minutes. 

After I got dressed, I wanted to go round The Saint John and take some time to enjoy the beauty of the building, its construction and its decor. My partner had joined me and we set to roam around the hotel, then Valletta. The hotel experience had already elevated our exitement to the city, because we were staying in a part of it.

The elegant evening mood was set. It was then time to go eat. The Saint John has the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub attached to it, but as we had already tasted the delicious food at one of their locations, and they were pretty full due to its popularity, we decided to go walk around the city and then find a restaurant in the heart of Valletta. That is the beauty of The Saint John. You are right there, in the heart of it all! After a great evening, a great meal, a wonderful long stroll around the vivid and colorful streets of Valletta, we were ready to doze off in the large comfy bed in our elegant room.

We did go to Cheeky Monkey Gastropub in the morning as they serve breakfast there. We were spoilt for choice, and as we woke up a tad later than the rest of the guests occupying the hotel, we decided to have some fun with it. We even had quite a long conversation with the friendly Gastropub staff. The boutique hotel and the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub both make you feel at ease and that time is passing slow, so you can enjoy the moments. When you lead such a busy, hectic and sometimes stressful life like mine and my partner’s, we couldn’t stop wondering what a perfect choice this Boutique Hotel was for us to accomplish our work, enjoy each other’s company, relax and take it easy.

We got another cup of delicious coffee and took it to our room so we can enjoy it from our balcony. You really feel that you are one with the city and can hear and feel the different activities going on in Valletta, yet so quiet and peaceful to enjoy our moments together. We felt so lucky to be sharing the experience of The Saint John Boutique Hotel and Valletta. (We booked the balcony at The Saint John. Not all rooms have a balcony, but they do have large windows to make you feel more part of the building and the city)

We were then ready and energized to take on the city and explore more of what Valletta has to offer. Whether you are there for a short stay or a long stay, The Saint John Boutique Hotel elevates your vacation or getaway experience. Strategically located in the heart of Valletta, it is highly inviting to celebrate moments with your loved ones, to take some time to work, to relax and re-energize, explore and other amazing things. The place were you stay for your vacation or your getaway can make or break it. That’s why I am glad I chose The Saint John Boutique Hotel in Valletta. It totally made it!