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Superyacht Stewardess

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation also known as a reference letter is a formal document which requires a lot of thought and consideration. Generally speaking the letter should be 12 point font in an easy to read business font such as:

  • Arial
  • Time New Roman
  • Garamond

Further the letter should be printed on a letterhead and the stamped with the yachts official stamp next to your signature.

As a chief stewardess or interior manager, you will/may be required to write a letter of recommendation for your departing interior crew member. This is a very important skill to master as it, as the crew member leaving will rely on it to gain future employment.

You can see online there are many variations in the layout of a good letter of recommendation, but below is a good place to start.

To begin the letter you should always start off by stating the facts, things like:

  • Full name of crew member whom you are writing the letter for
  • Duration of service on board, including dates
  • The position or title held

The second paragraph is designed to highlight their skills, education and positive attributes:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Holds a diploma/bachelor in….
  • Superb time management skills

The third paragraph focusses on positive personal attributes such as:

  • Is a team player
  • Has a bubbly personality
  • Has a warm personality and is easy to get along with

Close your letter on a positive note and give your contact details. Always finish with yours sincerely, or yours faithfully.

A letter of service

Now consider the crew member whom you are writing the letter for, had a bad record service on board and you had to let them go. Clearly this letter will not be a glowing letter of recommendation, however you still need to be professional and maintain a balanced outlook on the person.

The crew member may have performed badly for many reasons, this is not for you to analyse as you have already made the decision to let them go, rather you need to focus on their strengths (remember… everyone has both strengths and weaknesses).

The format is as above with an example letter below.  The things to remember here is to just state the facts.

This should never be a personal vendetta against the person, however, if you cannot possibly recommend them or write a simple letter of service, then ask the chief officer or the captain to write a letter of service, (its ok to do this we are all human at the end of the day).

Lastly, if you feel so negative about the person then simply write the letter of service, end it in a positive note, i.e., I wish her/him well, but do not include your contact details at the end.

You need to be able to stand by what you write, and if you write merely a letter of service, then chances are that it hasn’t gone well on board, therefore you do not want to “run off with your mouth” with a verbal reference check!

 

 

Sample letter of recommendation

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

 

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

To whom it may concern;

I had the pleasure to employ and work with [insert full name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] was an excellent asset to have on-board. She/he holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management, and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

She joins us with short notice and adapted immediately to the crew and her working environment. [Insert name] has a pleasant personality and is a team player, this made her popular with the crew and guests alike.

We are very sorry to see her/him leave, but I know that [insert name] will compliment any yacht that is fortunate enough to acquire her/his excellent services. {You can also add why she/he is leaving here}

I highly recommend [insert name], and I wish her/him well with future endeavours.

Should you have any further questions regarding [insert name], please do not hesitate to contact me [insert telephone number, email address or both].

 

Yours sincerely

 

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

 

 

Sample letter of service

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

 

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

 

To whom it may concern;

[Insert name] joined [insert yacht name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management, and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

If the crew member does not hold formal qualifications, then simply state their duties which they performed; i.e.

[Insert name] performed the following duties to a satisfactory/ good level

Housekeeping, service, floral arrangement, laundry etc.

I wish [insert name] all the best with future endeavours.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

 

 

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

More than any other business, the hotel industry markets itself to the individualized needs of their clients. It is one of the few industries that are attuned to adequate customer experience, which determines how well a particular hotel adapts and survives the crowded market. While most hotels focus on providing extraordinary getaways for their customers, there will be a few customers expressing grave dissatisfaction. Sometimes it is even tempting to write off such customers, but it has never been good for business. As such, conflict resolution as a hotel manager is one of the tricks that will bridge this dangerous gap. It is not all about having excellent management skills but rather having a good plan and some background training on how to resolve conflicts at the workplace. Some of the strategies to employ include:

 

Staying calm

 

By the time an issue goes to the status of a conflict, the customer is already agitated. In any case, customers don’t have the habit of complaining unless they feel compelled to. If an issue is negligible, they will go about their business without minding some of the trivial matters. To the extent of reporting an issue, however, a customer has reacted emotionally to the situation, and this can be dangerous because emotions drive people out of control. Moreover, when a client approaches an employee with raged emotions, the employee is also likely to respond defensively, which exacerbates the issue at hand.

 

Before reacting in any manner, therefore, it is important to stay calm as you contemplate the matter. Staying collected is something inevitable especially in a large hotel where you are selling customer satisfaction. The first response will determine if and how well the conflict will be resolved. A calm approach is more likely to resolve the conflict, but be careful not to appear as if you are taking the matter trivially. Express some concern but in a calm manner.

 

Listening is key

 

Employees will tend to shut down an upset customer, which further aggravates the situation. As a manager, however, all you have to do is listen. Some clients will have issues in their lives which they extend to various environments, and the best they need is someone to listen to them. In any case, a customer is justified for his or her feelings because they are paying to get the best. As a manager, you perhaps understand why hotels are grouped in the hospitality industry.

 

Leave your frame of reference and enter the client’s. Pride is counterproductive in such a situation, so listen and validate the customers’ issues such that they don’t stay in the heightened emotional state.

 

Find out the facts

 

Whereas listening to the customer is very crucial, taking their word as the absolute truth is a desperate show of partial blindness and absence of leadership skills. Remember, you also need the employees to realize the customer satisfaction goals. Get factual information by asking calm and open-ended questions which elicit more information.

 

Sometimes it may require additional information before the conflict is fully settled. Talk to relevant parties regarding the situation. These could be other employees or other guests, who will help you find out where the problem is. With factual information, you will then find a probable course of action that is just to the customers and staff alike.

 

Enlist different sources of help

 

Sitting on a management position does not mean that you take every professional burden as your own. Different employees and stakeholders have different capabilities in handling particular situations. Delegative leadership is sometimes recommended, so seek help when there is need. In case a customer has been upset by one or more of the employees, you can opt to call in some help from other management figures. Sit and find out whether it is more rational to involve the employee in question. While it is bound to aggravate the situation in most cases, sometimes the best thing to do is to talk to all the parties involved before a conflict is fully settled. If you must involve an outside party to resolve the matter, it is worth your time and money. Conflict resolution gurus are sometimes called in to educate employees on strategies to solving conflicts within the workplace.

 

Brainstorm possible solutions and negotiate a way out

 

Once you have gathered all the background information regarding a particular conflict, the next quick step is to stop the issue and give it a lasting solution before it ruins the reputation of a trendy hotel. It pays well when the people involved put a fair contribution to the generation of a lasting solution. As a manager, you must be open to all ideas generated and remain keen to note whether there is absolute objectivity. Whereas customers are mostly right, you must not necessarily tolerate it if he or she has personal issues against particular employees.

 

To the point of resolving the conflict, all parties must understand the position taken. If it involves the management, you should be open to receive whatever resolution that will be reached. If your position is bound to affect the outcome of the process, it is more reasonable to involve other parties. A win-win situation works to the satisfaction of both parties, so be keen not to please one person while offending the other.

 

Make a follow-up

 

Once the issue has been settled and the client has left, a number of hotels tend to leave the confrontation at that. However, this is not healthy because a customer may choose to leave not because he or she is pleased with the solution but because he has seen it wise to let the matter rest. To prevent such dissatisfaction from spilling over, make a follow-up by keeping contact with the customer. People feel valued when you personally follow them up to know how satisfied they feel.

 

Find the customer through email, phone or any other form of contact to express your regret for the issue that arose. If it is relevant and in line with the hotel’s policies, this is also the point where you can introduce some special deals and bargains to encourage the customer.

 

Review the issue

 

It is very easy for a hotel to assume that all irate customers are acting irrationally. Upon a closer look, the customer may have been right in complaining about a particular meal, service or employee. This is not to imply that all complaints are valid, but it should provide some insight into different customer experiences. Use the opportunity to review the issue once the customer is gone and determine whether there are any changes which can be made to improve customer satisfaction.

 

In summary, different customers may have various complaints regarding hotel services, but they can all be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties when the management is purposefully and fully prepared. Follow some of these proven tips and hotel management will be ABC easy for you.

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

The Superyacht industry is truly a unique place to work, and as such you can easily get swept up in the drama that can be associated with living  in a bubble.

 Mindfulness seems to be the ‘buzz’ word of this generation. His Holiness the Dali lama lives by it, Deepak Chopra teaches it and the Harvard Medical School students are writing research reports about it.

 So why is mindfulness receiving so much attention these days, especially since the world is getting busier and busier.

  • We make a plan for the weekend whilst watching TV and playing with the dog
  • We fold the washing whilst watching the kids,
  • We eat our lunch whilst sat at our desk for 8 hours without a break
  • We drive our cars around on auto pilot
  • We “do, do, do, do, do, do,” all day long without engaging our brains into the one single activity that we are actually doing at the time.

The super yacht stewardess does the all of the above, just in a different way. Her day is just as busy as the regular woman at home.

This article will explain what mindfulness is, how it comes to be and how we can master mindfulness in with our busy daily schedules.

What is Mindfulness?:

“Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement” (Siegel 2009, Harvard Health Publications).

 The History of Mindfulness:

The art of mindfulness has been around for generations with strong roots being founded in Buddhism, however every religion, prayer group and meditation practices, teach us to be aware of the present moment and leave the preoccupying thoughts behind. For those readers who are not religious at all then you will be pleased to know that science is now taking an interest in mindfulness as it helps to reduce the effects of stress on our bodies and minds, which results in a happier more positive outlook on life. Mindfulness also decreases psychological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, sleep and mood disorders.

 Mastering the Art of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is being present in the mind at the present moment, it is being aware of your body, mind and spirit; it is paying attention to words, tasks, feelings, and atmosphere. Mindfulness is not some new age “mumbo jumbo” nonsense created by hippies and social outcasts to  shame the rest of us for living extravagant lives; it is a way of thinking and a way of being that EVERYONE has instant access to regardless of your personal beliefs or religious followings.

 We can cultivate and nurture mindfulness through various mediums, such as:

Basic mediation and mindfulness. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing, let the thoughts come in and out, do not judge these thoughts or put any pressure on yourself at this time.  Practice a mantra out loud or quietly to yourself; the idea here is to systematically focus your attention on what you are doing and how you are feeling.

  • Body sensations: Notice any subtle or strong sensations in your body, notice they don’t think about them or judge them, now let them pass.
  • Sensory: Notice, smells, sounds, sights, colours, tones, taste and touch, do not judge them and let them pass.
  • Emotions and urge surging: Coping with cravings can be challenging for us all; so the idea here is to notice how your body is responding to the urge. Replace the physical urge with knowledge, that in time it will pass. You are aware that nothing ever stays the same and life is a continual river of change. You have the power within you to resist the urge.

By practicing mindfulness techniques, daily you will slowly be empowered to take your life into your own hands without judging yourself or placing unrealistic expectations upon your personal goals. It is about being kind to you and giving yourself the tools to handle all of life’s little challenges in a calm state of awareness.

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

 

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