for a strong, fast pick-me-up
The pie-in-the face interruption of Qantas boss Alan Joyce’s speech is a good lesson in how to react (or rather not react) if you ever find yourself interrupted during your speech.
You can find a link to a longer explanation of the incident below.
I have no connection to Joyce or Qantas – yet I study reports of this incident with great interest. I have trained other business leaders and politicians in how to react in similar circumstances and Joyce’s reaction showed the ‘textbook’ technique for handling an incident like this.
The normal reaction for many people (including me) would be to swear or look embarrassed or even take a swipe at the ‘offender’.
Now, for anyone getting a surprise pie in the face there would be an initial shock.
I’m not saying Joyce has been through special training – but his reaction seemed to show ‘textbook’ tactics. Many CEOs and business leaders put themselves through simulated situations and have their natural reactions and facial expressions videoed and get feedback on how to have ‘strategic non-reaction’.
From my experience, leaders are instructed to:
You can actually win the respect of your audience – even a hostile audience – by showing composure under pressure – and the ability/determination to carry on.
I understand that Joyce is an unpopular figure to many Australians. I’d be keen to hear your reaction to him – on how, regardless of your opinion of him, you think he handled this incident.
Here’s a link explaining the event. You can see how his reaction seemed to follow the textbook tactics above.