Venue Spotlight – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Each month for our Conference Venue Spotlight we will be giving venues the opportunity to detail a recent event held at their hotel or resort. This will help showcase the variety of ways their conference venue can be utilised for corporate events including spacing for conferencing, indoor & outdoor dinner options and of course, team building! This month we hear from the events team at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. 

overhead shot of crowne plaza hunter valley

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, regional NSW largest conference and events venue, regularly hosting new and repeating clients. One of the more recent clients (that has already booked for next year) hosted an event with over 400 delegates staying on-site for a total of four nights and three days for what was to be the first annual all employees learning event for the client.

After arriving throughout the afternoon on a Wednesday, the delegates proceeded to explore the property before being hosted at one of the signature events here at the Crowne Plaza, a Hunter Harvest. Showcasing the local produce in an outdoor setting started the stay beautifully with many of the delegates mentioning that this was one of the highlights of their stay.

During the day, delegates were assigned to various courses, classes, seminars, and activities throughout the resort including the conference and events centre, indoor classrooms, golf course, and tennis courts. A wide range of learning and team building activities were used during the three days to achieve the management’s goal of increasing overall team morale and knowledge, which had been set prior to the commencement of the conference.

A post-event meeting was held between members of the client’s management, organisers, operations, and planning teams, with great reviews and comments passed on for many of the staff. Leaders of the operations team at the time, Alex and Jarod, were complemented on the way they handled any short-term requests, whilst our sales and planning team were praised for the smooth handling of the booking, confirmation and organisation of the event.

To book your next conference at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley contact:

02 4991 0900

[email protected]

Tips for Effective Communication

People have unique ways to communicate with each other. When you understand people are uniquely different based on their communication styles then you can better relate to your customers, peers and in your personal relationships. The key is to understand yourself first.

COMMUNICATION STYLES

These are not right or wrong just different and understanding this ensures a team can work with varied styles. See below for the 4 key Communication Styles:

DISC communication styles

To learn more about DISC click here.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Use clear, concise sentences

Your goal, whether speaking aloud or composing an email, should be to make yourself instantly and completely understood. To that end, you should avoid using big words, steer clear of run-on sentences, and avoid any unclear phrasing.

Avoid long sentences with multiple clauses and herds of commas. The longer a sentence is, the more confusing it becomes. Always keep that in mind when writing directions or project details for a colleague.

If you aren’t sure that an email is clearly worded, step away from your computer for five minutes, and then look it over with a fresh perspective.

Keep a written record

Sometimes communicating effectively involves reminding people of what they’ve already told you, and when. Having a written record of all conversations related to a current or past account can be very helpful.

This is easy with email: just make sure never to delete old emails, and use filters for effortless organisation. For meetings/calls, make sure you keep clean, easy to read notes that also include the time and date. Audio recording is also an option.

Make every comment actionable

Inevitably, there is a time in every person’s career where they get together with a group of colleagues to discuss a project or proposal, and give feedback as a group. It’s important that when you give feedback on a project, you give actionable directions…particularly you are at the top of the food chain. Otherwise, the project can stagnate and people on your team can lose momentum.

It’s the difference between:

“Someone needs to speak with our design team about using a new font.”
and

“Marcy, could you touch base with Jim in Design about our font preferences?”

Make all criticism constructive

“Constructive criticism” is one of those feel-good buzzwords. Nevertheless, learning to give helpful feedback to a colleague will not only improve your interpersonal relations, but also will help to improve the quality of your work.

Constructive criticism is more than just a nicer way of talking to people. By giving clear, focused feedback instead of vague, general notes, people you speak with can really learn to improve their methods and practices in the future.

It’s the difference between:

“This website is a disgrace.”
and

“I see a number of issues here, including the dark green background that makes the text hard to read, and punctuation issues in the first two paragraphs.”

The Benefits of Servant Leadership

Sometimes we can confuse leadership with dictatorship. A leader with a dictator style makes orders & demands without taking into account the wants and needs of others. Perhaps this style of leadership can come in handy in some special circumstances. However, staff do not tend to respond well to being constantly treated this way. Depending on the situation, a leader should adopt different styles to suit. For the most part, adopting a servant leadership style will help you get the most out of your team.

If we look at leadership from a ‘servant leadership’ point of view, the job of a leader is to help their team succeed & give them what they need. This could be guidance, motivation, training or even chocolate cake in the break-room!

Two teams climbing a mountain. One where the team is doing all the work for the manager and the other where the manager is assisting in the work.

Servant leadership is the paradoxical balance between leader and servant. The term was first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf who said to be a servant leader, you’re a “servant first” i.e. you focus on the needs of others before you consider your own. You involve your team members in the decision-making process, you create a culture of caring & a sense of community, and you work to support & enhance the growth of your workers so they can meet their goals both at work and in their personal lives. This approach to leadership leads to higher staff engagement, productivity, trust & stronger relationships within your team.

Some tips on establishing a culture of servant leadership in your workplace include:

MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE

Servant leaders have a strong awareness of what’s going on around them. They care deeply about the welfare of their team members and don’t view them as cogs in a machine. You can show your team how much you care by taking a genuine interest in their lives. This means both inside & outside of work. You can also reward your team by taking them out for a team outing OR why not go all out and organise a team building activity.

DEVELOP NEW LEADERS NOT FOLLOWERS

The biggest investment you can make in your people is your time. By mentoring your staff and taking a genuine interest in their professional development you will help them learn vital skills for the future and improve their performance both inside and outside of work. And by teaching others to lead and providing opportunities for growth, your staff will give thanks with their loyalty & trust in return.

SHIFT FROM “YOU” TO “US”

We’ve all heard the saying “lead by example”, and this is very true when it comes to a servant leader. No task is beneath their pay grade and they’re never afraid to roll up their sleeves to get a job done. A common mistake of leaders is feeling that they are above certain tasks. This kind of thinking will only distance you from your team. A true servant leader says, “let’s go do it,” not, “you go do it”. To go even further in your endeavour to create a sense of community, a team building activity can help bring your team together in an environment external to the usual office day-to-day. Contact us to chat more about our team building options.

VALUE EVERYONE’S CONTRIBUTIONS

A servant leader values everyone’s contributions and regularly seeks out opinions. Someone who knows their opinion is not necessarily the right one, or indeed the ONLY one, has the quality of a servant leader. Servant leaders establish a culture of empathy and openness, creating a safe space for employees to come forward with any questions or pitch new, creative ideas that benefit the company.

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Kyla

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about working for Pinnacle:
The Team…they are a lovely crew to work with.

My favourite Pinnacle team event:
The Amazing Race!

My favourite hobbies are:
Attending live music events.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Fav band…Cut Copy

What was the last book you read?:
The barefoot investor ~ for families 

Favourite holiday?:
Spain 2009! 

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Ky 

I am frightened by…
Scary movies!

Favourite movie of all time:
Empire Records 

First concert I went to:
Kylie Minogue ~ Enjoy Yourself Tour 1990!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Barcelona 

What makes you angry:
A bad coffee…

What makes you laugh the most:
My 2 gorgeous girls.

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Definitely a Kylie song!