Saturday, June 14, 2008

You're on -- what's the message?

Four flights, 4 different flight attendants, 4 different attitudes.

1. The informer. Flight attendant told us about the plane itself, including the engines, expertise of the companies building them, and how the plane's technology would ensure a fast and safe flight. I told him I thought the info was interesting; and he said reason he gives is thought passengers are more likely frightened of/on small planes, and the more they understood how the plane helps them, the more he believed we'd enjoy the flight. He's right, it worked.

2. The someone else's fault. The next flight had the second engine off while sitting on the tarmac so really really hot waiting. Flight attendant proceeded to tell us how we weren't getting peanuts, not getting pretzels and it wasn't his fault but corporate decision to eliminate. And the coffee is really bad since sitting so long so he'd have make a new pot. And decision to leave engines off aren't his choice, but we'd be getting cooler after take off (90 minutes away). Complete with head shakes and frowns.

3. Forgettable or not funny. The third flight attendant did everything the way it's always done so completely forgettable. Except making a "joke" about how "in case the flight turns into a cruise" before explaining the flotation devices.

4. Queen of rules. The fourth flight attendant just couldn't stop talking. And all the talk was rules. Rule after rule after rule. Took all the standard language and made it even longer to be sure we understood the rules. And told us what rules would be told to us later. Even times that didn't call for rules turned into rules: "this cart weighs 150 pounds so if you plan to go into the aisle while I'm serving don't be surprised if you get mowed down like a lawn mower" or at end of flight "did I just heard seat belts dangle? Buckle them right now, I will tell you when it's time to unbuckle your seat belts".

Any given day association executives also have a choice about what to communicate and how to communicate. Will you: 1) inform your members and give them transparency so they have faith in your organization; 2) constantly complain about what's going wrong and always include that someone else made the bad decision; 3) be so predictable you're forgettable - or worse, don't take serious situations seriously; or 4) give so many rules that it's all the members hear?

You're standing in front of passengers all the time too - what's the message?

No comments: