The other day I was on a plane to Melbourne. We were off to see our grandchildren and in particular our mission was to indoctrinate them into the Port Power family.
The weather was terrible. There had been storms overnight and it was very windy. The flight was slightly delayed. A young man near the front of the plane and just across from me kept asking the flight attendant questions. He was clearly agitated.
The flight attendant was fantastic. She stopped and listened to him. She provided him a lot of information about why the flight was delayed. She explained how planes take off in windy conditions and how they would manage the landing in Melbourne.
She checked in on him a few times during the flight. I could see that he kept checking on where she was. She was the person who was going to ensure that this was a safe experience for him.
She was never dismissive or condescending. She was respectful and calm. This young man took up quite a lot of her attention throughout the flight; but she didn’t at any stage act as though that was a problem or that he was being annoying.
I was so impressed. She had lots of jobs to do and other people to care for. But she understood that for this young man to cope on what was potentially going to be a rocky flight, that she needed to be a rock for him.
It’s interesting to ponder on what might have been the case if she had been dismissive or condescending; or if she had told him that she didn’t have time for him.
He may have acted out. Been rude or aggressive. Potentially there may have been a scene if there had been a lot of turbulence.
The flight attendant read the situation brilliantly. She understood that this young man was scared and when people are scared they need a lot of information. It helps them process the situation.
The flight attendant showed brilliant leadership on that flight and it was a joy to watch.