Mea Culpa-When You Make a Mistake, Admit It

Recently, Jet Blue airlines experienced a major setback when it didn't have enough flights to meet the demand. Some passengers were on the runway for 10 hours and others were stuck at airports trying to get home.

When disaster strikes, a strong leader takes responsibility and does so quickly. This is a time when the presenter must be sincere and credible. Making excuses will not be tolerated and a slick style will not reassure the listeners.

Jet Blue's CEO took quick action by contacting the public. He sent out a video email to address the issue. He began with a clear purpose statement and got right to the point. By looking directly at the camera and never wavering in his eye contact he conveyed honesty and sincerity. His voice was conversational with an apologetic tone. He seemed both contrite and nervous. Nervousness was evident by the licking of his lips, hard swallowing, non-words (um), and repetition of words ("in the, in the.") Toward the conclusion of his talk, he gesticulated with his fist while saying, "We want you to have confidence in us. We ask for your business and trust."
This gesture showed conviction and was congruent with the spoken message.

Although, he demonstrated some nervous mannerisms, it was the sincerity that made him believable. When rebuilding a relationship with the audience you'll be more convincing when you apologize and speak from your heart

To see the video click on the link: