Typos and Airplane Trays

Airplane Tray Table

Ever flipped down an airplane tray and said, “Eeeeew”? If these things aren’t serviced, checked and cleaned, what about the engine? Am I safe? Am I taken care of? Makes you wonder.

Just last week, we received an email to that referenced Mr. Becker. Since my last name is Decker, this couldn’t be for me, right? When someone calls you by the wrong name, it adds distance and pushes you away. It feels both personal and frustrating. Our VP of Sales discarded that email immediately, thanks to just one wrong letter. The sender and the organization from which it came were tainted by an easily correctable error.

We talk a lot about the importance of the visual channel when you are meeting in person, but oftentimes, the written or electronic mediums precede our chances of having an in-person exchange. Misspelling subject lines, company or contact names are all part of the total communication experience. And when you make a mistake, you’re already behind.

Even writing something like “f/u” in a subject line, instead of “follow up,” can be misconstrued to our detriment. That two letter abbreviation CAN mean something else. Sure, we can excuse it and laugh it off if a solid relationship is established, but that’s not always the case. Even when I see it in an email from someone I know well, it throws me for a loop.

Remember that each email is an extension of you, your brand, your presence. As we say here at Decker, the angels are in the details. Don’t sacrifice that polish.


Emotion Earns the Extra Mile

For Father’s Day this year, my three boys joined forces and created a special homemade book filled with memories about what I meant to them. It was bound together with a little help from Mom, I presume. And they presented it to me while we were away on a family … Continue reading

Falling on Deaf Ears

We’ve all been there. Eyes glaze over, attention is diverted to the closest device…it’s that moment when you realize everyone in your meeting has tuned out. Your message is falling on deaf ears. We’re thankful that Chip and Dan Heath wrote the foreword for our new book, and in it, … Continue reading

The Audience Only Gets What You Give Them

The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” was actually a Captain Kirk mask, painted white, due to low budget. Did you know that? I sure didn’t – I was so darn focused on how frightening he was. (Although after reading this fact on an airplane, I couldn’t … Continue reading

Coordinating Schedules? You Can Do Better.

Ever have the experience where you get an email asking if you and another colleague are willing to talk, huddle, brainstorm or follow up on a new initiative? Contrast these two examples: “Can you meet for 30 minutes on Thursday between 9-11am to discuss the new initiative? If not, give … Continue reading

Shark Bait

We love the ideas, stories and behaviors we see on Shark Tank. Unless you’ve listened to this interview with Barbara Corcoran, however, you might underestimate how important the behavior category is. What they don’t show you on TV is how long contestants wait before beginning their pitch. As Barbara tells … Continue reading

Create Your Communications Experience

The essence of communicating is creating an experience. Here’s the problem: It’s unconscious. We don’t think about the experience that we create. Most of us don’t even know we create one. That’s why Apple’s new ads about experience (like this one) caught our eyes. Here’s an excerpt (that we adapted … Continue reading

Parenting Tip: Grid Your Kids

“I hope you won’t be offended. I’ve been practicing the Decker Grid™ on my 2 ½ year old son…Holy smokes. What a great parenting tip!” The Decker Grid™ keeps your message listener-focused with an action and a benefit. You will reach your listeners if you can successfully answer the question, “What’s in it … Continue reading

Change your habit in 21 days

We’re over a week in to February — perilous territory for we New Year’s resolution-setters. How are your goals for the new year holding up? When we make promises to do something differently, start something new, or stick with a plan, what we’re really attempting is behavior change. It takes 21 … Continue reading

These aren’t soft skills

Soft skills have a bad rep – they’re a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. Things like time management, team work, problem solving, ability to take criticism, and of course, communications. Training for them is the first to get slashed from the budget, to get pushed back in the calendar, and if you … Continue reading