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.

The Authenticity Equation

Authenticity leads to trust, and we can all agree that trust matters. But what exactly does it mean to be an authentic leader? The simplest answer is: be yourself. Sure, that sounds easy, but what if… “What if my most authentic self is just plain bad at communicating with others? … Continue reading