Well friends, last week addressed my search for inspiration. This week, there is enough for three or four of these communications. It was such a busy week. Do we discuss the Dodgers and their failure to advance to the World Series? Do we discuss the death of a loved one and how families cope? Do we even tackle the more difficult issue of how to explain to a 4 year-old what death is and why great-grandma is in a box, open for all to see?
No, I think I will focus on a characteristic we all have and need to perfect: that of the flight attendant.
In travelling back to Ohio this past weekend for the funeral, I was once again reminded of the important job that flight attendants have. No, not just handing out drinks and peanuts (funny, they didn’t seve any peanuts on our flights), but the job of maintaining order and calm.
Air travel is a nerve-wracking endeavor for many people. Some have even sworn off flying because of their fears. And yet the flight attendants do it every day, spending hours upon hours flying the friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) skies.
I have flown all over the world and, in all fairness, I don’t particularly like it very much. But there is some sense of calm and comfort emitted from the flight attendants. The flight attendants have been through all kinds of turbulence, emergency landings, and other in-flight emergencies. But if they keep smiling, keep acting as if everything is fine, the nervous passengers will cling to that as a demonstration that the plane is safe. Even when the pilot requests that the flight attendants put their seat belts on during particularly rough turbulence, they smile, they chit-chat, they act normal.
All of us have clients who come to us for monumental life-events, whether it be entrusting us with the money they have worked their entire life to save, entrusting us to draft a document that will ensure that their post-death wishes are observed, or utilizing their information to obtain the best-possible result, whatever the effort may be. Any in most situations, this is the client’s first foray into our area of expertise.
I have told my clients time and again, when they express concern or nervousness about their matter, that they take their cues from me. As long as I am calm and collected and acting as if everything that happened went exactly the way I expected it to go, the client should feed off this and maintain some semblance of calm. Even when things do not go our way, the first inkling that there is panic or concern, the client will feed off this and begin to doubt my abilities. So I think of the flight attendant. Even when there are dramatic ups and downs and rough times, I keep my cool so that the clients never need to doubt that their matter is in good and capable hands.
Why do I bring this up now, then? Because now is a challenging time for everyone. The economy is unstable and our clients look to us for comfort that things will get better, that there will be better days. And if we show that we have it all under control, that we are not panicking, that none of this is unexpected or surprising, our clients will find the comfort they are seeking, the stability through the turbulence.
So this week, friends, let’s show out clients that we have it all under control.