Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Seeing all the SAME cars

It’s a term that doesn’t get used often, although we all talk about it quite often. You know someone who bought a car or was thinking of buying that car. Then all of a sudden, they see the same car all around them and wonder what happened? That’s Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it sometimes gets termed as a syndrome.

We, here at Decker, have to fess up to causing this syndrome among hundreds of people we coach and train – specifically around communication. When we share the Behaviors of Trust, what to do with eye communication or how to avoid fillers of ‘um’ or ‘uh’, our participants realize – almost like a light bulb that goes off – that two of their team members do that! And when they leave our programs or coaching sessions, they notice it even more!

One of the tips we share is, don’t say ‘good question’ as part of your answer during a Q&A session. We’ve been told by past participants, “You ruined me, it’s so annoying when people do that!” The recent Senate Banking Committee interviews reminded me of this. When John Stumpf addressed Wells Fargo’s fraud charges, he did it more than a dozen times.

Many of us live in a bubble where we don’t recognize the poor communication habits around us. Once you become aware of what they are, you realize they’ve most likely seeped throughout your organization. One of the most gratifying opportunities is when we get to work with great leaders who want to turn their teams into great communicators. They see the impact on culture, NPS, engagement, sales and overall ability to lead others. If you don’t have the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon happening to you – you should want it! It will only make you better.

Now as you get in your car today, notice how many other people have your same car!

Think Before You Link

You wouldn’t walk into a networking event with a bag on your head or hand out business cards that say, “Call to talk more about me.” Yet too many of us are generic or self-centered in our approach on LinkedIn. Influential communicators work to create a complete communications experience for … Continue reading

Learnings from Vin Scully – A Legend Passing on Legendary Principles

As we approach the final weeks of the legendary Vin Scully announcing for the Dodgers (67 years!), it’s important that his lessons don’t go unnoticed. Tom Verducci had a great write-up for Sports Illustrated, and we recommend all to read. We took something away from his article, of course tied … Continue reading

Club Trip? Yes, Please!

So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of … Continue reading

Three Reasons Your Message Isn’t Getting Through

What if almost half of everything you say isn’t getting through? Actually, if you have young kids, as we do, you’re probably thinking that about half of it getting through is pretty darn good. Well, maybe it’s debatable that it’s okay when you’re dealing with kids (although we don’t actually … Continue reading

Did You Read My Email?

If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips. What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even … Continue reading

Sorry, I’m Not Sorry

“I’m sorry, you go first.” “I’m sorry, I need to grab something.” “Sorry, can I scoot by you?” How often do you start a statement with a quick, “I’m sorry…”? This Pantene ad hits home how overused the phrase is – especially by women. In the opening of the ad, … Continue reading

Adapt – Stay on Course

One of my favorite things in any race is when they show where racers should be, compared to where they are. They did it with Secretariat and American Pharoah (like the photo, above), they do it during the Olympic sprints, and we do it with ourselves and our yearly goals. … Continue reading

Heads Up, Phones Down

When I was at dinner last night, I couldn’t help but notice that everywhere I looked, people were on their phones. At one table, I saw a person talking to someone who was staring at his phone during the whole conversation. With 24/7 access to email, to Facebook, to Twitter, … Continue reading

I Don’t Need to Prep. I Can Wing It.

Does your calendar look like the above? Many do. Just yesterday I was talking with an executive about an upcoming meeting. A few minutes into the conversation, he realized, “Whoa. This is a way bigger deal than I thought.” This is a critical week for meetings, as we’re all squeezing … Continue reading