Approaching San Francisco...

A while ago, my daughter and I were at the airport. Her flight to L.A. left an hour before my flight to San Francisco. 

As I waited with her at the American Airlines gate, she realized her connection was going to be shorter than she’d thought. Worried about the timing, she went up to the attendant at the gate desk to ask for help - should she should send her bag ahead and where was her flight landing compared to where the connecting flight was departing? When she returned, she told me the attendant directed her to google the terminal layout at the layover airport. Fairly useless information and not helpful at all. She boarded the plane feeling anxious.

After seeing her off, I waited at the Alaska gate for my flight. There, I overheard the Alaska gate attendant patiently explaining to a nervous customer what gate the flight would be landing at in San Francisco and where he needed to go to make his connecting flight. He left the conversation looking considerably more calm. As we waited on the plane to depart, the flight attendant calmly explained why the flight was delayed and kept us updated and informed throughout the flight. Upon landing, I was stunned to hear the attendant announce that four people seated at the very back of the plane had very tight connecting flights and could we all let them debark first? Everyone complied without complaint.

Now, this isn’t an Alaska commercial (although it could be - I love that airline!).  Or even a riff  on people’s behavior - who knows what kind of shit that first attendant was dealing with when my daughter approached her. And I’m only a data point of one, so no generalized judgment from me.

But it did get me thinking about how I communicate. Am I being clear? Am I being kind? How about generous? How often am I able to recognize - and speak to - the underlying emotion coming from the other person/people? 

The Alaska reps clearly recognized the fear and stress at the core of their customers. They didn’t shy away from it - instead, they named it, addressed it, and gave us information to help us move forward. The way they communicated established trust between them and their clients. 

Where can I do more of the same?

PS. I took a free business workshop series from Selena Soo a few months ago which I found extraordinarily helpful and useful. I understand the irony of me pitching someone's business at the end of a post title "Trust". To be clear, Selena's definitely selling something. AND, she is kind and generous with what she gives away for free - so many nuggets I picked up from her I've implemented already. She's running the workshop June 10-14th. Here's the link if you're interested. (I am not receiving a fee or kickback of any kind from this recommendation - just doing it because I thought it was a good program and might help someone else).