Great communication from MustaphaOrganising lesson #2 from my Moroccan holiday is about communication and comes from Mustapha, our wonderful tour guide. Not only does he have 15 years of tour guiding experience, he is also studying to be a lawyer. I think he’ll make a great one. He was able to answer every single question we threw at him. He articulately explained to us about Moroccan history, culture, customs, cuisine and daily life.

But what I admired most about his leadership was his clear and concise communication about what we could expect from each day, and what he expected from us. We were never in any doubt about what time the bus would leave, or when we could expect a comfort stop, or the time dinner would be served. FYI, they eat very late in Morocco, for both lunch and dinner.

Here’s why his communication style impressed me. His clear communication made our journey easier. He also clearly explained about consequences. For example, if you hold up the bus, you can expect to take a taxi to meet it at the next destination. And yes, this did occur, but only the once.

As organisers, when we communicate clearly to our clients about our expectations – our payment policy, cancellation policy, our organising process, etc. – and we follow through consistently with our actions, we teach our clients they can rely on us. They are never left in any doubt about to expect from us and from our work together.

Another thing that impressed me was that Mustapha quickly picked up on the group’s needs. For example, being a Muslim country, many hotels and restaurants in Morocco do not serve alcohol. He soon realised that some in the group expected a daily drop and he would let us know in advance what to expect in that regard, as well as create opportunities for a “drive by” to get supplies if desired. A good organiser does the same, quickly understanding each client’s different needs and working to take them into consideration.

Please don’t think Mustapha was a gruff kind of taskmaster. He was kind and accommodating, and always good humoured, getting his messages across to a diverse group so that we all understood.

Never underestimate the value of clear communication. It prevents cancellations, misunderstandings and creates a successful working relationship.

Find more organising lessons from Morocco here.


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