Tips on Customer Care When Handling Alec Baldwin Situations

I’m amazed at the media buzz with Alec Baldwin.  If the flight attendant had used this technique (Knock it Off Nicely Technique)….she may have gotten Mr. Baldwin to cooperate somewhat more cooperatively.  Temperaments of all kinds of passengers are what Flight Attendants experience on a daily basis. I even train enforcement officers to use this technique below.  People basically don’t like being told what to do. Enforcing regulations is tough.  Especially when you have the “responsibility” to enforce them but not really the “authority” to do anything about it -most have to call Police, which then gets time consuming and messy.  The Knock it Off Nicely technique basically goes like this:

a) What

b) Why

c) How

a) (What) I’m sorry sir, but all electronic devices will need to be shut down before take off.

b) (Why) there is a strong risk that they could interfere with navigation devices as we taxi and the pilots need to communicate with the tower.

c) (How) We’ll need all “texting and electrical devices off” in the next 30 seconds and it can resume (name the time when they can). (give them options).

Those who have the responsibility, but not the authority (aka they can’t make a physical arrest – they have to call someone to do this) – get caught in this all the time.  It’s a double edge sword.  It’s like someone going to the bathroom during the seatbelt sign – (by the way you can go the bathroom – but you are at your own risk – and it can be risky if you do hit a huge pocket of turbulence). The flight attendants by regulation just legally have to warn you.  On the electronic device issue, unfortunately as soon as the flight attendant takes their jump seat I can’t tell you how many people bring their devices back out and it is frustrating as a passenger to see people do this.

With Mr. Baldwin’s account, it sounds like he was in the bathroom at the time, so I’m confused, if he was in the bathroom, hopefully they had not pushed the airplane back yet, because if they had not pushed back,  he could technically have a few more minutes to use his cell phone. (Electronic devices to my knowledge as I fly 5 – 8 times a month – don’t need to go off until you are ready to move).  Did he delay the flight because he would not come out of the bathroom as he was playing games on his cell phone – and delaying the flight.  In that case, if he is going ballistic, delaying a flight for anything other than a medical emergency, there is a security issue and a passenger should be removed by the proper authorises.  The flight attendants should call for immediate back up to have this done. Often this situation can be circumvented if you “Don’t Come to the Fight” (another technique I teach, but don’t have time to go into right now).

Of course I was not there, so don’t know all the details, however in situations like this, these techniques have been known to work exponentially well.

To recap: If you only tell them “what” it comes out as a command, miss “why” they think you are picking on them, miss “how” or what their options are – you miss the opportunity to be professional (competent) and (courteous).  I used to be a prison guard in an all-male maximum security prison (and was a former flight attendant) and I know this technique works.  I get customer service staff to write their own scripts in my keynotes and training.  They are amazed how easy and powerful it is.  P.S. You are not allowed to use “You”.

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