Being a host conjures up visions of throwing a party. That may be true but in general, being a good host is about making people feel comfortable, not only when you are a formal host of a gathering, but in everyday situations. When you’re the type of person who makes people feel comfortable, you become very attractive. People will literally flock to you because they feel at ease in your presence. These connections are great for building new relationships or deepening old ones.
A perfect example of a good host is Oprah Winfrey. She makes people feel relaxed on her show, from celebrities to world leaders to everyday people. In turn, they share information with her that they wouldn’t if they felt anxious or uncomfortable. When Oprah’s guests come onto the stage, she stands and faces them and applauds, a way of celebrating the fact that they have come to see her. She shows them to their seat and sits herself. She faces her guests, makes eye contact with them, and makes them feel welcome and comfortable. She shows great interest in them and asks them questions about themselves. When the interview is over, she thanks her guest and applauds again as they leave her stage.
You don’t have to be Oprah or throw a party to carry yourself as a host in all interactions. If you’re at the post office and see someone searching for a pen, point them to the writing station. If you’re in your cubicle at work and a co-worker comes to see you, invite them to sit in your guest chair. If you’re at a cafeteria and you rise to get yourself a cup of coffee, ask the people around you if they would like one, too. When you see someone struggling to carry a heavy object, offer to help them. If you’re having a conversation with someone, take the lead by asking them questions about themselves. As you can see with many of these examples, you don’t even have to be in your own house to provide hospitality and be a good host.