Bert Decker on The First Brain, Transforming Your Personal Impact and The Decker Grid
Susan Bratton

Episode 79 - Bert Decker on The First Brain, Transforming Your Personal Impact and The Decker Grid

When I was 35, my mother told me the next thing I needed to accomplish was to be an extraordinary public speaker.
If I wanted to be a CEO, this was my next task.

I got myself a speak op and started practicing. By the time I found my way to speaker training at Decker Communications in San Francisco, I was already a good, if not great presenter.
Decker speaker training changed my life. I learned the 6 ways to transform my personal impact. I learned how to be "first brain friendly." I learned how to be successful at the "preconscious level." AND YOU CAN TOO.

Meet Bert Decker, founder of Decker Communications and inventor of The Decker Grid. He's one of my idols and I found him on Twitter and invited him onto DishyMix. This episode is devoted to taking YOU to the next level of your personal power.

Bert is a coach, consultant to famous executives, a communications expert, a professional speaker, a best-selling author and a documentary film maker. He's a man of ethics who brings his values into his profession.

Bert and I talk about his book, "You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard: The Complete Book of Speaking...In Business and in Life!"

I never create a presentation, a speech or a PowerPoint without using the Decker Grid. I literally have it memorized, though I used to carry a Decker Grid card in my wallet before I learned his simple system by heart.

In this episode you'll learn how to create rapport with your audience. How to give a great speech that moves your listeners into action. You'll get an overview of the simple, powerful and effective Decker Grid. And you'll get to know Bert, who is a selfless and wonderful talent. He's hooked on Twitter now - leveraging the latest communication tools. After 30 years of teaching people to speak with bold assurance and create messages that motivate, he continues to stay in the game, evolving with the technologies of communication.

If you want to be a great speaker - read Bert's book, go to Decker and get trained and check out his "10 Best and Worst Communicators of the Year" at You can emulate the greatest speakers of our time.



Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I’m your host Susan Bratton, and on today’s show, I’d like to introduce you to someone who I idolize. I’m pleased to share a wonderful and amazing man with you, Mr. Bert Decker. Bert is the Founder and Chairman of Decker Communications, and I have been officially Deckerized and it literally changed my life and you’re going to get to find out why. Bert’s a coach, a consultant, a communications expert, a professional speaker, ah… that’s an understatement, a best selling author,  we’re going to talk about his latest book,  and interestingly enough, also a film maker. So on today’s show, we’re going to talk about The Decker Grid, probably the single, most fundamental business tool I’ve used that’s not attached to my computer, that contributes to my personal success. So we’re going to talk about the amazing Decker Grid. We’re going to talk about six ways to transform your personal impact, we’re going to talk about the First Brain, and why that’s potentially the most important brain. We might have time to talk about getting back to values, something Bert and I both care about, and winning at the pre-conscious level. I think you’d probably like to do that once you figure out what it is with us.

Bert Decker:
 …it starts out with the story of George Bush, our current President, as a good communicator, and people said, “Why, are you starting a story like that?” Because, he was a good communicator once, and that was during 9/11, and before that, he wasn’t. He was acting to be president, and after that he wasn’t, he was acting as if he should be president. He was not authentic, and I talk about that in the book.
All of those sensory inputs, the nervous inputs, what we see, the electro-chemical inputs go into the First Brain, that brain in the middle of our… in the middle of our brain literally, that is made up of the Mendic system, which is the emotional brain, and the Brain stem which is our unconscious brain, and before the information that we take into our senses can be understood through those unconscious emotional gate keeper as I call it. It either gets shut down a little bit if somebody is boring, monotonous or lacks confidence, or nervous, or what people can see and hear, before the information gets to the Cerebral Cortex.
What we really do is make the unconscious conscious, that’s the importance of feedback, video feedback, audio feedback. And when you can do that, you see that all your behaviors are just habits.


Susan Bratton: Welcome Bert!

Bert Decker: Thank you, Susan. I’m delighted to be here.

Susan Bratton: I am so, so pleased to have an opportunity to get to talk to you, Bert. It’s so funny that I discovered you; I connected to you through Twitter, of all things. I saw you twittering and I said, is this THE Bert Decker, the real Bert Decker, the man that I idolize?

Bert Decker: Well, you are... you are too much. Just hearing that introduction, I was like,’ Who is she talking about?’

Susan Bratton: I’m talking about you.

Bert Decker: …I should thank you for that. I like being on Twitter, because it’s a terrific connecting tool.  I hope we have some time to talk about that too.

Susan Bratton: Oh gosh! We talk about Twitter on every episode of Dishy Mix, I think so. Absolutely! So, why don’t you just explain to folks…? I know you, I love your work, I’ve been Deckerized, I’m a follower … I’m the Grid user, I’m everything… I’m a devotee. That’s why I’m so happy to have you on here, because I love this!   Talk about Decker Communications and exactly what you do?

Bert Decker: Well, Decker Communications I founded almost… next year’s going to be our 30th year anniversary of opening…

Susan Bratton: Congratulations!

Bert Decker: Uh… Thank you! We’ve grown quite a bit, but we still have the basics. The two things that are the corner stones of Decker Communications: emphasizing a person’s behavior, that’s what the title of my book, ‘You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard’. Doesn’t matter how good your stuff is, your information, what you say, your confidence… but if you aren’t believed, if people don’t have the confidence in you, you won’t be heard. So the behavior’s a key element input. We do not concentrate on it at all in our academic school system and our education. So in business, we are inherently stuck with power points at board, data driven, and data dumps.  So what we do is, at Decker, it’s a two-day program, it’s called ‘Communicate to influence’, not communicate to inform, and what we do is emphasize behavior first, because that’s then the template, with video feedback and a lot of processes in exercises. That’s the template then, from which you get across your content, and then the Decker Grid which you briefly mentioned, we’ll get into it a little later, is a way to focus that content, so you have the best of both worlds. At Decker, we deal with both behavior and content, so after 2 days, in two-day training, or one-day special executive sessions we have, you are the best you can be in knowing how you really come across.

Susan Bratton: When I’ve gone through the Decker programs, I’ve gone through it myself a couple of times, and I’ve also sent a lot of my star talent through, over the years… star sales people, account management people, marketing people,  because it really doesn’t matter what you do for a living, it’s like you say, uh… communicating to influence. You need to have these tools whether you want to be a public speaker or not. You ARE a public speaker; you’re a public speaker every time you open your mouth, frankly, right?

Bert Decker: Absolutely! And that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. They think they come in for presentation training, of course it is that, and you certainly make better formal presentations. But what we talk about is, and touch points about what every person has in their life, during a day, maybe half a dozen times where it is critical to influence somebody towards something. It could be on the phone, it could be me in an interview setting with you, could be at a luncheon meeting, it could be a speech so you’ll have high leverage. All those things, where you have to know how you come across, so you can choose habits to make it more effective.

Susan Bratton: So, I just finished ‘You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard’, and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of what I’ve been trained in, all your methods already. What’s the difference between that book, and your other two, ‘Creating messages that motivate’, and ‘Speaking with bold assurance’?

Bert Decker: Well, ‘You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard’ is actually the new revised version of a book I published 12 years ago but the publisher came to me and said, “You know it’s still selling well, but there are some old stories in it, do you want to revise it, or do a new book?”, and I said [***] to revise. So the new book has about 40% new material and includes the Decker Grid, which was not in the original, and with all new stories and such. And as a matter of fact, it starts out with the story of George Bush, our current President, as a good communicator, and people said, “Why, are you starting a story like that?” Because, he was a good communicator once, and that was during 9/11, and before that, he wasn’t. He was acting to be president, and after that he wasn’t, he was acting as if he should be president. He was not authentic, and I talk about that in the book. So the book, that’s my basic book, ‘Creating messages that motivate’ is a Grid book, it’s just like a workbook  for the Grid, for somebody who’s not gone through the program, he can take that book, and always have a focused listener-based message, no matter what setting you’re in. And ‘Speaking with bold assurance’ has a spiritual element to it. It’s really for people of faith, to use the skill sets that we have developed at Decker, and sharing that faith with others, so that other people can have values and faith

Susan Bratton: Ah! That’s very intelligent. I know Guy Kawasaki is one of your mentors. He of course is a beautiful speaker, and… not one of your mentors, one of the people that you admire, sorry Bert.

Bert Decker: Well, Guy, I wouldn’t say he’s a beautiful speaker, because he’s so witty, not controversial, but cutting edge, he’s a tremendous speaker. Beautiful, I don’t think he would say he is either…

Susan Bratton: Oh! He’s beautiful to me. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. He’s a beautiful man to me. What was I going to say about that…. It was something… shoot!

Bert Decker: It’s about Guy always being on track, on focus, and always being believable. He’s natural. He’s authentic.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely! That authenticity… So, what are the biggest pieces of your book? Is this idea about the First Brain, about the fact that people buy on emotion and justify with fact. We’ve all heard that, we forget that a lot, especially with Dishy Mix listeners. Dishy Mix listeners are in media, marketing, advertising, web 2.0, a lot of entrepreneurs listen to the show. But we are people who are asked to prove the efficacy of advertising in media, and our business all the time. And so we end up selling on numbers, and I think we’re actually over-reliant on the data. Because listening to your stories and your teachings, it is really about this thing you call success being determined at the pre-conscious level. Talk about the First Brain, the pre-conscious level selling an emotion.

Bert Decker: Let me give you an example of it quickly, an audio example, this should be good for Dishy Mix listeners as well. The sound of a voice, even though we’re talking, people can’t see the visual which is the most dominant impact. Even though we’re talking, the sound of our voice gives a lot of information to it, for example, I’m talking now, I’m talking about getting information across. Now what I’m doing now Susan is something very different, because I’m talking, but what I’m doing is I’m putting on a smile. As a matter of fact, I always put on little smiley postets whenever I’m on a radio broadcast or something, so I can lighten up and smile. The sound of my voice now is a lot different than the sound of my voice right now.

Susan Bratton: Yeah it is.

Bert Decker: And I’m not pulling that on. So that’s subtle but it carries, and people judge from that unconsciously. So the First Brain, just in a very short nutshell commentary, is really the pre-conscious brain from the middle of our brain, it’s not the Cerebral Cortex, that’s our thinking brain, the First Brain is made up of the Lumbic system-the brain stem. We’ve heard about a hundred brain mime books to understand the application of this to the communication process. And all of our sensory input, what we hear, what we see, and that dominates communication, although taste, touch and smell are also part of the five senses. All of those sensory inputs, the nervous inputs, what we see, the electro-chemical inputs go into the First Brain, that brain in the middle of our… in the middle of our brain literally, that is made up of the Mendic system, which is our emotional brain, and the Brain stem which is our unconscious brain, and before the information that we take into our senses can be understood through those unconscious emotional gate keeper as I call it. It either gets shut down a little bit if somebody is boring, monotonous or lacks confidence, or nervous, or what people can see and hear, before the information gets to the Cerebral Cortex. So that very quickly puts better down if you can see it… a cut-away of the brain itself. But the First Brain is very powerful. It is unconscious, it is emotionally driven, and that’s why when Malcolm Gladwell on Brain talks about thin slicing, the first two seconds you see or hear somebody, you have a lot of information that you make judgments on,  on somebody’s confidence, would you believe it, that settles it away. That’s the power of the First brain.

Susan Bratton: Yeah… He says that you can’t under estimate the power of rapid cognition. And I love that thin slicing concept, that verb you described. So how can you be First Brain friendly, if that’s what you need to do, what is it we’re supposed to do to connect with people at the Lumbic level?

Bert Decker: OK. We’re going to extend the show to an hour… I’m about to go into teaching mode… Let me give you verdict quickly. Basically there are six behavioral skills that have nothing to do with content, and everything to do with connection, that unconscious connection. Largely what people see, and also what they hear, the first is eye communication, that is probably THE most important, that is looking at people, we have a five second rule… I won’t go into the details, because it will go on too long. But let me just list it. There’s eye communication, there’s postural movement, that’s the base with how we hold ourselves, a lot of people hold themselves leaning backwards, crossing their legs, or doing a variety of things, and not moving when they speak. When we are speaking and excited about something, we use our voice, we use our movement… people tend not to do that, they close down instead of opening up in their communication.  And then there’s gestures and facial expressions. When people are looking at us, they mostly see our face and our animation through how we… gesture, how we hold our hand, things such as the fig leaves, the nervous gestures that we have.

Susan Bratton: Velcro arms, I remember that one…

Bert Decker: Exactly! I have a left arm walk before I got myself on camera and found out how I spoke. And then there’s voice and vocal variety, there’s language and pausing, there is dress and appearance. Those are the six behavioral skills that have nothing to do with content, but have a tremendous amount to do with the judgment that people have of us initially, and then going forward, because you can change it over time but it is very hard to do that, to overcome a bad first impression.

Susan Bratton: I had Bob Schmetterer on recently. He is the former CEO and Chairman of Euro RSCG, one of the largest, worldwide advertising agencies. One of the reasons that I’ve always loved Bob is that he’s an amazing speaker. And the one thing… he’s a masterful speaker, and he also shared a lot of the same things that you’ve shared. This is the things that I do, this is how I focus, I even have on my speaker notes, speak loudly here, pause here… you know, he’s worked those things into a lot of his speeches to remind himself to do that. He’s a master of the pause.

Bert Decker: The interesting thing is that he is conscious about it, and few people are, but very few people. Almost everybody in business, unless they’ve done a course like [***], the courses like it, but unless they really observe themselves and gotten in depth about how they come across, they’re running around with a lot of unconscious communication habits that they don’t have a clue about. What we really do is make the unconscious conscious, that’s the importance of feedback, video feedback, audio feedback. And when you can do that, you see that all your behaviors are just habits. And you can change habits. It takes 21 days to change a habit, according to Maxwell Maltz., but I find that to be very true, and we’ve trained over 100 thousand people and we’ve really seen, actually, miraculous changes, in a very short time. When people see consciously what they can do differently, they come across differently.

Susan Bratton: I remember when I was about 20… no, I was about 33 years old, 33-34 years old, and my mother said to me, “OK. Here’s what you have to do next: you have to be an excellent public speaker. You have everything else going for you, but you’re afraid to speak in public’. And my mom is not a stage mother, and she never really gave me much advice. When my mother told me to do something, I did it, because she knew me better than anybody else, and she was working in my best interest. And I remember thinking to myself, ok, I have to do this, my mom told me. I mean, she really never told me what to do. She always thought I knew what the heck I was doing. I took that very much to heart, and I can remember what I did was, I wrote a presentation, I got myself a speaking opportunity and then I had to figure out how to do the speech! I practiced that speech, and I practiced that speech, and I practiced… then I practiced in front of people that I wasn’t embarrassed to be bad in front of, and they gave me feedback, and then I practiced again. So by the first time I went out and I did my presentation, I at least knew my material well, I was still completely out of my head. I mean…I had no idea what was going on with my body, and space and the world and the people in the room, I was just trying to maintain my composure and not fall down on the floor in a puddle crying, you know… it was so stressful for me. I was almost 35 years old!

Bert Decker: But then you did it…

Susan Bratton: I did it!

Bert Decker: And then you went out and got feedback and got yourself on video, and that piece of advice and the work that you’ve been doing since made you what you are today!

Susan Bratton: A few years later, I found out about Decker and I said, I HAVE to go do this. I went, I got video taped, I got all that feedback,’… here are the things you’re doing wrong”, “… this is where you’re miss...” and I love how you make people stand up in the room and you make…one of the things that you have to do when you get Deckerized is stand up in the room and deliver your speech and it can be on peanut butter, it’s not like you’re speaking on anything lofty, you’re just practicing. And I was probably speaking about peanut butter or something, and you have to look at this person and then you have to consciously wait and move your eyes and look at the next person and hold their gaze for a second. Those kinds of things where you are forcing your body into a new routine… I loved the way you teach people those things.

Bert Decker: Yeah. And they HAVE to see it. That’s why in the course of two days, for each participant, there are eight video tapings and three private coaching sessions. Because you have to see yourself. No. 1: You can’t internalize it, you can’t get it at a visual level unless you see yourself, and also you need coaching because you’re not sure what it means… how does that really look, so you need a professional to be involved.

Susan Bratton: So, we’re going to go to break and when we come back, I really want to get into the components of the Decker Grid, because I can tell you now Bert, that a dozen years later, I’ve spoken at probably between 75 and a 100 industry conferences now.. My phone rings and people ask me to come speak. People ask me to custom create content and come present it. And it is so fulfilling for me when I touch an audience, when people come up afterward and tell me that I’ve changed their thinking in some way. I can’t imagine anything that makes me feel better about myself, and makes me feel like I’m giving a gift to people.

Bert Decker: That’s great.

Susan Bratton: And I love that. So you’ve really changed my life, and when I get those phone calls, “hey! I want you to come speak”, the first thing I do, is grab my Decker Grid. So we’re going to go to break, thank my sponsors, who I love dearly, even more than Guy Kawasaki, and we’re going to come back and talk about your amazing Decker Grid. We’re with Bert Decker, Founder and Chairman of Decker Communications. I’m your host Susan Bratton. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.

------- Commercial break------

Susan Bratton: Alright! We’re back. So Bert, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for! Tell us… did u steal this from somebody or did you make this up yourself?

Bert Decker: No…We invented it…

Susan Bratton: Good! I needed it…

Bert Decker: We invented it about 20 years ago, and refined it. It’s been pretty close refined for the last 10 or 15 years but not that much, because what we had to do is find a very quick way for people to put together or prepare a talk in a two day session. Now is the regional motivation. It wasn’t any brilliance that this is the way it has to be. But what came out of that was it became useful for everything. And what it does is it forces you using a few principles, it is a four-step process, which I won’t go through in an audio, because you really need something in writing in front of you. I can describe it.  It has a… first, laying the corner stones, most important step. Then create, which is brain storming step, clustering your ideas which you brain stormed, and then composing, that’s the editing process, if you’re very good at the editing process, but very poor at the brain storming and the initial, blame the corner stones. Because if you just lay the corner stones for any speech you have to give, or any talk or any reading, or any phone call for that matter, or even a radio interview. Let’s see, what’s the point, what do I want somebody to do and what’s in it for them? The prism: What’s in it for me, what’s in it for the audience, the person you are talking to, not you yourself. With that you’ll always have a focused listener based message, even if it’s on a phone call, even if it’s in a conversation. We use it to put together entire presentations, or entire all-day seminars too by the way. The Grid process becomes a way of thinking and I use it all the time, and my assistant Harold of course having done it for 25 years. But I can’t tell you how valuable it is; you said it yourself in preparing a presentation. But I want to relate it even to anything that you do, because so many people ramble with it. Twitter for example. I mean… Twitter in the 140 characters, you’ve got to get across your point. What is the point, why am I doing it? And so many people, what I call it in my… I don’t know if you saw my last blog or not, but I call it blabbering, because it just goes all over the place. Rather than saying what’s the point? and what value am I giving to somebody?

Susan Bratton: Well, is your blog, and you also post the 10 best and worst communicators of the year on there. I want to make sure that people know that that’s a good... it’s always good, and in your books too. You always have a list of people you should go watch their videos, and if you want to see some good speakers, copy them!  I want to go back to the Decker Grid for a second. I’m not done with you on this. I want to let you know that I’m sitting here in this studio right now, with a piece of paper, that’s about 11×17. I bought these great big white pieces of paper, and it has Bert Decker across the top and it has all the little things that I absolutely wanted to cover on this show. And then I have postet notes, and each postet note is stuck across this paper in vertical columns, and it has all of the things that I want to talk to you about in the flow of our conversation. I’ve blogged about this on Dishy Mix, which is my blog. I actually take pictures of some of the Grids that I do, in preparing for people, that I post the images up so people can see how I Grid out my process. I mean, I don’t use this just for speaking. I use this for my interviewing too. So at anytime you’re trying to influence someone, or create a conversation or a communication using this Decker Grid, I love the message folders. And you can actually get those at Decker Communications. It’s a really nice piece of, I guess it’s a 11×17 folded in half, it’s a hard paper…and you use posted notes, and the process is brain storming with all your ideas on posted notes, sticking notes on the grid and rearranging them, putting them in order, that’s what gets you organized in your conversations, right?

Bert Decker: Absolutely! And the interesting thing, is when you… often we have to speak, or you might have a grid, and then somebody takes up more of our time, so we have to cut it in half… what you can do is quickly take off the postet notes, because those are keywords, they’re trigger words, they’re not long sentences or long thought out ideas and concepts that you have to get it all in, and I’m sure you’re actually pulling some of those postet notes off right now, because we’re going to run out of time…

Susan Bratton: We are, but that’s ok. That’s why I do it this way, exactly right! So, you told me that the favorite conference that you go to is called the Million Dollar Round Table, because the best speakers in the world, the most motivational speakers go to this. Tell me what this is like when you go, and you’re an amazing speaker and you go to listen to these speakers.

Bert Decker: Million Dollar Round Table is the association of financial professionals and insurance executives, and I think… that the two great readings, and that’s I think the best ones, the National Speaker’s Association is also obviously very good, because it gets top professional speakers. But at MDRT, there are about eight or nine thousand people and they have... for three days… they have the top speakers from the speaking world, from the political government world, and some people from MDRT itself. We consult with the executive committee that are always on the main platform as well and we go every year and I’m very involved with them. I spoke at the main platform once as well. What happens is you get tremendous inspiration and motivation, but you also get information with it. A lot of people say, inspiration, motivation, empty headed, doesn’t mean much, its absolutely not true! You have to be continuously inspired, spirit grabs everything, emotion grabs everything. So you need to get recharged in a variety of different ways, but you also need to know then how to take whatever forward lean that you have, inspiration that you have and use it and that’s where the information comes in. I think that those meetings have the best combination of both things that I’ve ever experienced. I look forward to it every June. It’s a closed meeting of course, it’s an association meeting, but I look forward to going every year. All meetings should be like that.

Susan Bratton: There was someone that you brought to my attention when I asked you who your mentors were. You’ve always been very closely associated with Charles Schwab. He’s been a mentor for you. He’s on the top of your book with his pool quote and you’ve worked with him in his organization. But there was someone else that I wasn’t familiar with and you opened up some doors for me. Nido Quebein .Tell us about Nido Quebein and why he’s a mentor for you.

Bert Decker: I’ve known Nido Quebein for 25 years, initially from the National Speaker’s Association. He came over from Lebanon; I can’t tell you his whole story on time. He came over at 17, went to High Point University. Learned the language, and learned yet to speak and communicate to do something in this country, and he just did exactly that. He probably, I don’t know what his network is, but it’s in that hundreds of millions probably, but he didn’t probably went out to get money, he went out to give value. And he did it through speaking and communicating and writing, writing books, consulting, becoming a very in-demand, high… high investment speaker. But he really, his heart is philanthropy, it is service, it is helping others, it is value. And two years ago… three years ago now, he took over the Presidency at High Point University. He’s now a successful businessman, he’s on the boards of many companies, he formed a bank that was worth, gosh!  a couple of billion dollars. So communication is… he could go in any situation and communicate about management, about communications, about leadership, or anything because it’s internalized within him. I’m always impressed with him, he’s a good friend, I go to High Point University every year or so, just to see what he’s doing lately with the wild factor, he has transformed that university in three years. And I write about him in my blog and he was also one of the top 10 communicators last year, actually two years in a row, one of the few. Unfortunately, everybody doesn’t know him, because you’re not going to see the President of High Point University. But if he ran for President, he would really communicate in a way that would get a lot of votes, and more importantly, he would do a tremendous job. He’s a great big guy.

Susan Bratton: One of the things that I… I checked out his website; let me spell it for all our listeners, its N-I-D-O Q-U-E-B-E-I-N. And I’ll make sure that I put a link from this show, from this episode on Personal Life Media to Nido’s site, because he has a lot of self-empowerment content. And he has a whole series of self-evaluation quizzes which look really good. Some of them are ‘Can you real others’ behavioral styles’, ‘How questions can help you reach peak sales performance’, ‘How to become a successful negotiator’, ‘How to interpret body language’, ‘The keys to effective listening’. The thing that I’m most interested in right now Bert is, not just how, I think, you get to that point, where you have your self pretty much under control, and the way you’re connecting with people, and your articulate and your pausing and your using a lot of vocal capabilities and you’re doing all of these things, then the next step seems to me, to be communicating to people in the way they need to be communicated to. Everyone is different, coming from kind of the neuro-linguistic programming world, understanding body language, mirroring people, and connecting with them at their level, whatever level that might be, even things like the work Ken Wilber’s doing around ‘Integral Life Practice’, that’s like the next step, once you started mastering a bit of yourself. What do you think about that?

Bert Decker: Well, I think two things. No. 1: We all have a life force and approach of drive to what values that you want to get across? And so, when we are affected using our computers if you will, which our body and getting across that message, the  skills, both in content and behavior as we’ve been talking about here, then you have a message to get across. So, I think I’m driven by several messages I want to get across, no matter what setting I’m in and I, using the Grid process which might point with this person, how can I  move the ball forward, you have to have a person in the center of that. You have to be able to serve, serve the values of that person, but it’s going to be still you’re message. And so, in the Grid process, always in the center is the listener.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. He’s your audience.

Bert Decker: You won’t change your message, you change how you say it with the things that, that listener knows about. The preferences with that listener, might be male, might be female, might be poor, might be rich, you know… so you change how you frame your message, but it’ll still be the same message.

Susan Bratton: You mentioned the word ‘values’ and I wanted to hit on that with you and ask you what you thought the key issue was, for business professionals in the 21st century. And you said, personally and corporately getting back to values, what do you mean by that?

Bert Decker: I can’t say I’m against the bail-out in the current day that we’re in, we’re in a real economic problem, I don’t know as much as 90% of other people know. But I do know this, that, in my work, I do a lot of work with the Salvation Army as I mentioned to you. And when people have to be rehabilitated who have gotten into addiction, have to change habits, they’ve got to reach a bottom and then realize, gosh! I’ve got to change that habit because it’s not working. We have to do the same thing as a country, a company may have to do that if they get too off into greed or think they don’t have basic values at the core. One example is saving. We’ve become a country of credit. We buy in credit, everybody’s credit cards or most people’s credit card book, rather than paying back, using it as a plastic, but paying it up-to date every month so they don’t go into debt. So we’re a debt driven company, and that’s not a value that’s going to sustain, and we’re seeing that now, on the individual level, unfortunately many are seeing that, but on the corporate level as a country, companies and organizations are seeing that, our country is seeing that. I don’t think we’re going to get out of this mess until we get back to values.

Susan Bratton: If there is one way that we could [***] our professional lives, with a high level value, that would serve us and others most effectively, what would that be?

Bert Decker: Well that’s a cosmic question.

Susan Bratton: Ok. You can handle a cosmic question!

Bert Decker: …I have to… a person’s philosophy, world view really. My world view, we’ve talked about this really, my world view comes from the Bible and a lot of people’s does not now. It used to… in this country, this country is based on the Judea-Christian ethic values. And that’s where mine comes from. Everybody believes in something, so you ultimately have to get to, what do you believe in? What drives you? Most people go from task to task, I think. And I have a core value for myself, I will not super-impose that on anybody, but I will try to persuade people, why this works. And I think the Bible is the best self-help manual in the world, actually. But that’s not what it was written for and that is not what it is about for me and for those who believe in [***], the spiritual element. And out of that then comes values. And once you live by that, every now and then I will put a Proverb in my Twitters, not too often, because a lot of people don’t like Proverbs, and they don’t like the Bible. And I don’t want to irritate them. That audience is a diverse audience on Twitter and on the Internet. But I do want to let people where I stand, because I think it works. That’s what communicating is about, getting your values, your world view to other people because it works. If you have the cure for cancer, would you tell people about it, you bet you would.

Susan Bratton: You want to share what works for you. And what I heard you say was, something that, it doesn’t matter what spiritual leaning you have, stop with the day-to-day, and look up and think about the big picture, and what it is that you want to create in this world and how do you want to go about relating to other people and get that done. That’s what you were saying right?

Bert Decker: That’s exactly what I was saying.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. And that doesn’t matter who you are, that’s a core humanity level spirituality.       

Bert Decker: It is. I think most people go from task to task, and don’t think about themselves as much as they can, what’s going to get them…we’re in a country that’s driven by notoriety, celebrity and money… and that’s not great value. That should come from helping and serving other people. Out of that should come money and celebrity, and it would, if people did it that way, that’s one of the problems we’re in right now I think.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. So let’s end the show by agreeing that we’ll both take a minute today to think about how we’re serving at a higher level , all the people in our world, our self, whatever that might be,  just to think about that today. Because I think that’s a really worthwhile moment to take, don’t you?

Bert Decker: I certainly do. I’d love to end this show that way. That is terrific.

Susan Bratton: Good. So that’s what we’re going to do and I’m going to give you my commitment that I’m going to stop today and I’m going to think about that. And I know you do a lot. And I have really, really enjoyed spending time with you Bert, I just am such a devotee of … you have changed my life with the things that you’ve taught me.

Bert Decker: Well I’m honored that you say that Susan. You have great success, your Dishy Mix is great, and all the things that you’re doing… so that is a… I’m humbled by it actually. Who’re you talking about?

Susan Bratton: You probably are removed enough from it that you don’t hear it enough anymore, huh?

Bert Decker: We always like to hear things like that. We are all… all should be humble servants, I try to be...sometimes get filled with it… I don’t think you accomplish things without ego, but ego, you have to realize that it really doesn’t come from you, it’s God-given, and what you do with it is your choice.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely! Well I have a copy of your book to give away to my dear Dishy Mix listeners. Thank you for that. If you’d like a copy of "You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard: The Complete Book of Speaking...In Business and in Life!" by Bert Decker, my amazing friend, just go to and post your request, and I’ll pick my favorite and the book is yours. I hope it’ll change your life, like it’s done mine. You’ve gotten a chance to meet Bert Decker today, Bert thank you again so much for being on the show.

Bert Decker: Thank you

Susan Bratton: And it is… I am your host Susan Bratton, I hope you’ll be with me next week as well. Were going to have more fun, more fun, more fun.  Have a great day, and I hope you take a moment to think about your bigger goals in life. Take care.