Visitors or Guests?


Last weekend's houseful of friends, insisting on helping in the kitchen, got me thinking.

Were they visitors or guests? Is there a difference, and when does it matter?

When I go to client organisations, the detail makes it clear. If you’re lucky, a visitor gets a carpark, while guests find their named park awaiting them.

Visitors get a name badge to identify them while they wait to be seen, guests are expected and welcomed at the door.

Visitors are, usually, received politely, while guests are made to feel like they belong.

As a guest you feel different. The welcome is warmer, the attention is closer. People make time for you and go out of their way to make an effort. You’re a real person, not just a number. What matters to you, matters to them.

If you are in an organisation that serves others (and aren't we all?), then how are you treating those who come through your doors?

How do you make them feel like a guest, whose needs matter?

How can you make them feel like they’re the most important people in the whole world, at that very moment.
The size of your organisation and number of people you’re dealing with is irrelevant. Sure, you can systematise ‘guesting’, but ultimately it’s about relationships and it takes an invitation and heart.
It’s the quote from Maya Angelou, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you say, they will forget what you do, but they never forget how you make them feel.’

So, what can you do today, to turn your visitors into guests?


Jenny Magee


Trainer, coach and consultant, Jenny Magee (BEd, DipTchg, DipSLT) works with organizations to raise awareness of diversity in all its richness and has over 25 years experience as a champion of diverse workplaces and positive, productive partnerships.

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