Keeping Your Cool in a Sticky Situation

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I once had one of those awful flying experiences where flight after flight was delayed, and none of the delays were weather related. What should have been a 3-hour flight turned into a 15-hour, multiple-city, exhausting nightmare, causing me to miss meetings in my intended city. By 3 A.M., when I was finally within 30 minutes of landing at my destination airport, I suddenly smelled something wonderful. The flight attendants were baking chocolate chip cookies! That sweet, comforting aroma filled the airline cabin, and our small group of 20 passengers waited with anticipation as the flight attendants made their way down the aisle, handing each of us a warm cookie. I instantly abandoned my plans for an enraged letter-writing campaign and was effortlessly defused of all my anger and exhaustion -- all with one soft, freshly baked cookie.
I suspect that those flight attendants were just as tired as we were. Did they get grumpy and treat us badly? No. They turned an unpleasant and exhausting situation into a fun and memorable event, just by being nice!

Winn Claybaugh is the author of Be Nice (Or Else!) and the co-owner of hair care giant Paul Mitchell's school division. Winn has helped thousands of businesses build their brands and create successful working cultures, including Southwest Airlines, Fuddruckers, Entertainment Tonight, Mattel, and others. Visit to sign up for his free monthly Be Nice (Or Else!) newsletter.