5 key language skills for your international hotel management career

A career in international hotel management can be fascinating--and full of work. Anyone who hopes to achieve everything possible in this field will need to look at all the different ways they can gain an education.

Some skills are learned on the job, others in hospitality classwork, and others from a general educational background. We have put together five of the most important language skills to anyone interested in hotel management.

Reading and Comprehension

In any sort of hotel management position, good reading and comprehension skills are vital. A manager will often have to read through shift reports from his or her employees, understand order forms, and deal with interdepartmental memos on a regular basis. There is more than just reading and understanding the words at work. An international hotel manager will need skills that include reading “between the lines” so that he or she can comprehend all the details of correspondence. Interestingly enough, this skill is even more important today than it  25 years ago, as more and more workplace communication is done through email, text and even social media.

Good Listening Skills

As a manager in a hotel, you will often need to spend time listening to your guests, employees, and others--and be able to pull the needed information from what’s being said and eventually put it into use. Good listening skills is a competence some are blessed with and others are not, but they can be learned through practice in the workforce and in classroom activities. Taking the time to become a good listener will likely pay off in the workplace for years to come.

Public Speaking

You may not think of a hotel manager as someone who does a lot of public speaking, but it may surprise you to see how often that skill is put to work. Public speaking may include small group talks, such as a staff meeting or employee development situations. It may also include being able to keep your confidence and communicate accurately with customers when they have a problem or want to discuss business with you. Finally, actual “public speaking” can be part of the job too--imagine if you are asked to speak at the opening of a new location or at a conference. Public speaking is a very useful skill to have and can allow you to grow even further in your management career.

Writing

Just as reading and comprehension are more important today than it was even 20 or 25 years ago, so is writing. If you are not able to express yourself accurately and professionally using the written word, it can be more difficult to reach higher management positions. A good manager will be able to craft a memo to his employees, create a thank you note for a trusted vendor and reply accurately to a review on an online review site. Learning how to become a better writer is often the result of practice. Whether you take a course on business writing or you just focus some of your time on growing this skill, it is vital that you grow in your abilities.

The Ability to Communicate in More than One Language

While not every hotel manager will be fluent in more than just his or her native tongue, having the ability to at least communicate on a rudimentary level in more than one language will help make you a more desirable candidate for international hotel management jobs. In many hotels in Europe and the United States, especially, you will often encounter customers from around the world. Having the ability to connect with an individual that doesn’t speak your language can help make you better at your job and enable you to provide the very best in customer service to everyone you encounter. Remember, between 2010 and 2015 the demand for bilingual employees more than doubled, so this is a skill that is certainly in demand.

Once you’ve mastered these language skills, you will be in a good position to grow in your career as a hotel management professional. Not only will these skills help you get that coveted job, but it will allow you to connect with your guests, vendors and staff members in a way that will help you thrive in your position.