The Breakdown of ‘Assume’

Hopefully I don’t need to break down the word as some will joke, however, we all assume too much. We assume people know what we mean, we assume people appreciate an effort or a message we share. We assume THEY know what WE are thinking. They don’t, so let’s be intentional about that.

I was reminded of it this morning as I drove to the airport and passed a commuter bus. They’re all over the Bay Area, and this one happened to be from Genentech—others are less public: Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Normally, I ignore them or don’t even notice them go by. This time, I saw the sign on the back stating “Saving 120 cars on the road for you.” Immediately, I had a different appreciation for that company and even that bus! It was amazing the different thought process I had—an almost opposite view—because of one, short, listener-focused message.

How often do we create messages and forget to tell the audience what’s in it for THEM? As we at Decker do a good amount of message prep, we see it fairly often. Why? Because we assume that the audience or that person knows what’s in it for them. They usually don’t, so it can’t hurt to remind them. Get people excited, remind them of the ‘why’ – it’s simple and so effective. There are all-hands coming up, Sales Kickoffs, annual meetings and even reviews, be sure to get that benefit TO them in there. You will benefit and probably influence a little more than if you didn’t have it.

PS: There’s no way I would ever take a picture while driving, I’m sure a passenger did that for me.

View from the 40th Floor: Change at the Top and Bottom

(Part 4 of a series by Bert Decker) “If we don’t change our model, we are going to crash.”  Those were the words of the leader of one of our multi-billion dollar clients, which accents the amazing changes in leadership over the last 40 years.  As we close out the decade, … Continue reading

From the Boardroom to the Living Room

In a recent Leadership Presence for Women program, we were discussing the Decker Grid™ when a participant raised her hand. “Can I use this on my husband?” she asked. This question comes up a lot, and the answer is a resounding yes! While Decker’s main objective is to teach communication … Continue reading

“I” Language Doesn’t Influence

A few times a week, I endure a rigorous indoor cycle class where all I want is a decent workout. As a communication junkie, what I’ve noticed (and that bugs me more and more) is the use of “I” language. Now, I get that we all learned the importance of … Continue reading

Thanks for the Feedback

“Can I give you some feedback?” Rarely do we meet an offer like this with eagerness, curiosity or excitement. Our reaction might be more aligned with concern, skepticism or even fear. However, feedback is essential in all aspects of our lives. We need others to shine a light on our … Continue reading

Feedback That Others Can (Actually) Use

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark A few months ago, as Decker was wrapping up a series of programs with a large pharmaceutical company, an L&D leader surprised us with his takeaway, stating, “This program made … Continue reading

Achilles Heel

My boys (10, 12, 14) are loving Greek mythology right now—from Percy Jackson’s books to any movie reference. Lately, Achilles is having a major moment in our household, popping up in Coldplay lyrics and in post-NBA finals discussions on Kevin Durant’s recovery. Achilles also happens to be trending in the … Continue reading

Make Your Content Pop…Like a Rock Star

Nicky Jam. Ozuna. Gente de Zona. I am a huge Latin urban pop fan. I love dancing bachata to Dominican music. I listen online to a Spanish-language radio station. And I have a celebrity crush on Grammy award-winning global artist Pitbull. So when Pitbull recently hosted a weekend Caribbean cruise, I … Continue reading

Be Brief. Be Bright. Be Gone.

“…and the long and short of it is?” Sometimes, we feel compelled to prove how much research we’ve done, how much credibility we have and how thorough we’ve been by sharing every little detail. Problem is, when we do that, people tune out, and we lose the ability to influence. … Continue reading

SHARPen Your Edge

For those of you who know anything about Decker, you know we always push people outside their comfort zones—that’s where change happens! Last week, the marketing team here at Decker pitched a new idea to me. They were seeking buy-in on something that’s outside the scope of what we’ve done … Continue reading