Find Your Voice and Master Assertive Communication in Hospitality (A Preview)

Written by: Daniel Conti, Jr., CHAE+, LCAM

Effective communication forms the bedrock of success in the intricate world of hospitality, whether you’re orchestrating behind the scenes or taking center stage in guest interactions. In this transformative session at the upcoming HFTP 2023 Annual Convention, titled Finding Your Voice: Mastering Assertive Communication in Hospitality,” you will be equipped with the essential tools to expertly navigate challenges, establish well-defined boundaries and uphold cherished relationships—all while preserving your personal integrity.

Polite Refusals

Have you ever found yourself in a challenging scenario where the desire to say “no” clashed with the fear of causing offense? This sentiment, no doubt, varies based on the recipient of your response. During this insightful session, you will delve deep into a repertoire of techniques designed to help you gracefully and tactfully decline requests from a range of individuals, including colleagues, supervisors, peers, and even valued customers. The art of saying “no” with finesse will enable you to cultivate an aura of professionalism that demands respect from both your fellow colleagues and esteemed guests.

Balancing Needs & Expectations

Within the vibrant tapestry of the hospitality industry, achieving harmony between your personal needs and the often lofty expectations of others can feel akin to a delicate balancing act. This enlightening session promises to arm you with techniques that allow you to harmonize your intrinsic needs with the external demands that surround you. Through the establishment of thoughtfully constructed boundaries, you will learn to safeguard your precious time and energy, ensuring optimal performance while preventing the looming threat of becoming overwhelmed.

Empathetic Declines

The concept of declining requests needn’t be synonymous with strained relationships or hurt feelings. In fact, within the context of this session, you will come to recognize that the art of empathetic refusal can be a potent tool for reinforcing connections. Armed with refined skills, you will be able to gracefully decline appeals while simultaneously ensuring that those around you feel genuinely respected and valued. In doing so, you’ll actively contribute to fostering a culture of understanding and collaboration, thereby cementing your position as a bridge builder within your hospitality community.

Drawbacks of Excessive Agreement

The allure of perpetual agreement, of consistently saying “yes,” may be compelling in the short term. However, a closer examination reveals potential pitfalls that could jeopardize your long-term success. By delving into the session’s discussion on the drawbacks of constant agreement, you will gain insights into the price of over-commitment. Moreover, you will uncover the empowering potential of setting limits—a strategic move that empowers you to regain control, sidestep the looming threat of burnout, and ultimately elevate your effectiveness within your unique role.


In the dynamic realm of hospitality, where each interaction contributes to the rich tapestry of experiences, effective communication is unequivocally paramount. As you embark on your journey of mastering assertive communication through this session, you will acquire the prowess to gracefully navigate the intricate landscape of the industry. Armed with the ability to confidently decline requests while fostering an environment characterized by mutual respect and collaboration, you will harness the true essence of assertiveness. Thus, you set forth on a path to a fulfilling and remarkable odyssey within the vibrant and ever-evolving world of hospitality.

Daniel Conti, Jr., CHAE+, LCAM is the chief financial officer for Jupiter Island Holdings, Inc. in Hobe Sound, Florida. He is an HFTP Global Past President, the 2022 HFTP Paragon Award recipient, and a speaker at the upcoming HFTP 2023 Annual Convention.

This blog post previewed “Finding Your Voice: Mastering the Art of Assertive Communication in Hospitality,” an educational session at the HFTP 2023 Annual Convention. This year’s conference will be held October 18-20 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. Conti will lead this session at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18. See the full schedule online and register to attend the Annual Convention today.

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