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Hotel Management - The Silver Rule

Jon Sholter


Today, in less than 3 minutes, we are going to cover the following: A look into the Silver Rule

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We all know the Golden Rule:

Treat others the way you'd like to be treated.

But what about the Silver Rule?

Don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you.

The Golden Rule

When Nassim Taleb talks about this in his book Skin in the Game, he uses some examples of bureaucracy (mostly government), people without skin in the game dictating what is best for other people. Instead, he argues, they should focus on taking away the pain points for people that are universal, instead of forcing what they deem is "good" (simply because it is "good" to them).

Thinking Simply,

It is easier for us to know with certainty what people don't like than it is to predict what they do like.

When comparing hotels by survey results, I always look forward to staying at properties at the top of the list. I often think I will find something extraordinary to bring back to our hotels.

However, in most cases, I am just left with a really solid experience. In my mind, it is nothing spectacular.

Dwelling on this, it appears these hotels got rid of a lot of pain points. There simply was nothing to complain about, and by eliminating reasons for complaints, these hotels became elite.

OK, Captain Obvious, did we need to get all philosophical to come to that conclusion? Of course not, but thinking from different perspectives aids decisions. Let's look at some examples.

Creating a great culture at your hotel:

Let's say you're an excellent, friendly leader. You do some staff lunches for your team, have a recognition program, and check the boxes, but you don't know why you still struggle with turnover.

Perhaps going back to the basics and asking, "Am I doing anything to my employees that I wouldn't like?" might give you the answer. Maybe despite doing all these "nice things" you feel your staff should enjoy, you're still scheduling unfairly, compensating unfairly, or not giving your team the right literal tools to do their job efficiently.

Guest Experience:

If looking at the guest experience, you might think, well, we're giving guests courtesy calls, giving them a cookie at check-in, and even inviting them down for a guest reception in the evening.

Now, the same exercise, "Am I doing anything to my guests that I wouldn't like?". In this case, it's back to basics. Was the room spotless? Was the shower pressure great? Was the breakfast served hot?

Ultimately, you feel a loss (pain) more than a proportional gain (pleasure).

Finding hair in your bed bothers you more than that courtesy call makes you happy (if you wanted that in the first place), not having enough shower pressure to wash out your shampoo upsets you more than that cookie tasted sweet, having cold eggs in the morning ticks you off more than the offering of an evening guest reception.

Hotel Management

Don't get it twisted, creating memorable moments is something to strive for, this is not an argument against that. However, nailing the basic human wants/needs and sticking to your brand promise 100%, is in many cases, enough to get you to the top.

As always, thanks for reading.


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