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

The Power of Likability – Have No Missed Opportunities!

When someone runs for President of the United States, and a regret they have is that they were possibly “too serious” – that’s a learning moment for all of us. “I did feel a heavy sense of responsibility. I wasn’t as loose or open as I could have been.” This … 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

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

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

Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

It’s Called Humble Confidence

Who would you rather sit next to on an airplane… the I’m-so-great-guy who tells you exactly where to go and what to do – and how he knows all the insider scoop from sports scores to restaurants to books to read, or the guy who offers ideas and suggestions, paired … Continue reading

Three Biggest Mistakes that CEOs Must Fix

Here are the top three mistakes that CEOs make – and how to fix them. Mistake #1 – CEOs Read Speeches Consider the last acceptance speech you heard. The most memorable speakers of the evening are always those who share straight from the heart. What we don’t remember are the … Continue reading

Vulnerability: Make It Personal

“Vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection.” This line from Brene Brown’s TED talk on the power of vulnerability always sticks with me. While the idea of showing vulnerability can raise our blood pressure, it undeniably creates connection with others. Before going any further, I want to admit that … Continue reading