Hello everyone this is Pete Jaskulski.

On October 16th Roy Aiken and I had the privilege of presenting two 3 hour workshops at the Portland International Airport. At the Portland Airport they have a unique program called “Make the Connection”. This program provides customer service training, incentives/recognition, and tools for managers to educate and motivate their staff to provide exceptional service and create a culture of high standards for passenger interaction.

This program is unique because it reaches out to all 10,000 employees that work at the airport. The two elements that we participated in were the two workshops and speaking at their quarterly luncheon.


A great atmosphere

The Verbal Defense and Influence concepts that were stressed during the workshops were the Five Maxims, the Universal Greeting, Showtime and Redirection. When I arrived at the airport (from my flight) I walked around and observed the employees (restaurant staff, TSA, airport operation staff and airline staff). This had been my third trip to Oregon through this airport this year.

It was obvious through the atmosphere at this airport that the “Make the Connection Program” was working. As a matter of fact it was announced at the beginning of the two workshops that Travel and Leisure Magazine had ranked the airport number one in America (again!).


Positive recognition

At the luncheon I was floored by the recognition that was given to the employees. These employees were from the airlines, rental car agencies, maintenance staff, cleaning staff and other areas. Now, they didn’t just hand out the awards, the Port Authority staff created posters with the individual’s names and a written account of the incident or situation that prompted their nomination for recognition. At one point a woman from the cleaning staff received her award and cried. How powerful is that. These stories were essentially Peace Stories.


Standing out from the crowd

There was one recognition that particularly hit home with Roy and me. It was Jim Michels, a TSA agent.

A local television station reported on his demeanor at the cue lines in the screening areas. Jim was creative and SMILING. He rhymed words to get the message out to the passengers. He stated in his interview that his style of communication he “gets the passenger’s attention so he can get his message out.”

Jim is one of the reasons the Portland Airport is number one. Good job to the Portland Port Authority and the “Make the Connection” team. Oh, take a look at the video. I have attached the link. You will really enjoy it.

TSA agent gets you through the line with a rhyme