Ready for Take-off: Create Better Connections

While on a recent JetBlue flight from Baltimore to Boston, something unusual and unexpected happened: Before takeoff, the captain stood outside of the cockpit, faced the passengers and greeted us over the PA system. Instead of the usual disembodied voice, he looked us in the eyes and smiled.

With one small decision, that captain completely changed our experience for the better.

What experience do you create? This question is at the heart of the Decker approach. People do business with those they like and trust, often at a subconscious level. We all have the power to build better experiences and relationships. It starts with self-awareness and intention.

Here are some examples:

  • You cross your arms because you’re always cold.
  • You do calls on speakerphone so you can multi-task.
  • It’s common practice at your company to text and email during meetings, so you do, too.

Creating an experience starts with understanding that our actions have impact, even if it’s different than what we intend.  In a meeting, you might cross your arms because you’re cold, but you come across closed-minded or disinterested. Sure, it’s easier for you to do calls on speakerphone, but others on the call hear you shuffling papers or typing on your keyboard. Even if everyone else is on his or her smartphones in a meeting, it doesn’t mean you should be, too.

Consider this true story: Colleagues gathered for a quarterly department meeting. Everyone went around the conference table, giving their updates. Then, one person stood up to deliver the update. It made such an impact that every person after that stood up, too.

Connection isn’t optional; it’s essential. We always have the power to prioritize connection, regardless of the audience size, stakes or medium.

In your next meeting, conference call or one-on-one conversation, ask yourself: What experience do I create? The answer might surprise you.

Great Messaging is Edgy

Great messaging is edgy. It’s easier to be safe—like when you’re sailing. For any of you who have ever been on a catamaran, it’s safer to have both hulls of the sailboat in the water. But to win, you have to go up on one hull—and the professional sailors even … Continue reading

Think Only Women Upspeak? Really?

Valley girl Tentative Hesitant Questioning Chances are you’ve heard (or used) the words above to describe a woman’s voice. Upspeak – the habit of pitching your voice up at the end of a sentence – along with its reality TV-ready sidekick, Vocal Fry (for the uninitiated, have a listen), strike … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Tips for Women

What’s the best way to get noticed, get into the up-and-comer pipeline and start to win more leadership roles earlier? Start by fast tracking your communication skills now—don’t wait for that big opportunity to project confidence and polish up your presence. Before we dive in, an important disclaimer… men will … Continue reading

Presenting With Your Hands Tied

Do you ever feel like there are so many people weighing in on your slides and talking points that you’re actually presenting with your hands tied? I recently worked with a client who was asked to present to the board of its Fortune 30 company. In preparation for his presentation, … Continue reading

Moderating A Panel: 3 Tips

Being asked to moderate a panel is an honor—but no one will tell you it’s easy! If you get selected to moderate an upcoming panel, here are three tips that will help you prepare: Being the facilitator of a panel is a huge responsibility. It’s on you to create a great experience and keep … Continue reading

Speaking On A Panel: 3 Tips

So, you’ve been asked to speak on a panel—what now? Whether you like to prepare a lot (or not at all), here are three things to think about that will help ensure success at your next panel. When you’re on a panel, it should feel like a casual conversation between you … Continue reading

Pope Francis On Humility

“Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.” –Pope Francis, Ted Talk … Continue reading

High Stakes Q&A: Try These Tips

Even if you’ve been avoiding the news at all costs, you probably heard that one of the most high-stakes, public Q&A sessions of the year happened last week. An estimated 19.5 million people watched it on network television, and that doesn’t count those who live-streamed it from their desks, since … Continue reading

Less Can Be More

A few weeks ago, this video stood out to me because of Cameron Smith’s reaction to he and Jonas Blixt’s win at the 2017 Zurich Classic. He said nothing—yet he said so much. It’s the power of raw emotion. It’s amazing how many leaders we work with who put up … Continue reading