Women in leadership: Is your contagious attitude worth catching?

As the saying goes, attitudes are contagious…is yours worth catching? Ever try to insert yourself into someone else’s drama and think how different that situation could have been if they only did X…and you can fill in the blanks. This is something that happens every day and businesses can lose customers because who wants to deal with that nonsense all the time?

If you want to be successful, your attitude has a tremendous impact on everything and everyone around you.  The way you deal with situations is your choice and the choices you make will… you got it, have a tremendous impact on everything and everyone around you. While we would love to have a position that is perfectly amazing every day, the truth is we will have very high highs and of course very low lows. The key is to remember that life is 10% of what is happening and 90% of how you react.

Logically you get that but is being positive something that is easy to do 24/7? And if you are showing up every day as being a positive person, do you start to get the reputation of being Pollyanna? Let’s first agree that it will take some getting used to being positive all the time when we know there will be challenging situations thrown at us from all sides. And while we say we don’t, we do take on the problems of the world and try to fix them and that is also an added stressor. While we do understand the importance and the why of having a positive attitude, let’s come up with a few steps on how to do it.

  1. Use Positive Language-What we say we believe.  If we wake up with an immediate complaint, even what we think is harmless like, “I’m so tired” we are now setting the tone of what our day is going to look like.  Very few people jump out of bed screaming “I’m so excited for the day” so how about something in the middle like “This is going to be a great day”… that’s just the beginning though.  Be careful what you say to yourself.  We have that inner dialog going on so swap the negative words for some positive ones, and if someone makes a comment to you that seems to be dripping in sarcasm or negativity, reword it in your mind.  Here’s an example… “You take so long to make a decision. You’re so picky!”  Let’s reword it to, “I am taking my time before I jump in. I’m selective in my decisions.”  See how it works?
  2. Don’t criticize-offer feedback.  Have you been in a situation where you have heard someone criticizing someone else and you don’t hear the constructive side to that at all?  I have and I think how there is a coachable moment for the attacker but I would not do it in front of others because that too is not constructive.  Giving feedback is not that easy when you know a point needs to be made but not sure how to do it. First things first…don’t be on the defensive.  Not everyone has the level of expertise you do and being criticized does nothing for a positive attitude.  I had someone that worked for me many years ago and every time I would ask her to do something it would take 10x longer than if I did it myself but I knew…I had to support her.  I would tell her that when I first started, I did exactly what she was doing and I realized I wasn’t being fair to me because I knew there was a better way to do it and I kept trying and failing until I did this one thing.  Would you be ok if I shared it with you? Of course she said yes because I had something to make her life easier and I also told her it took me time to figure it out so she was excited about jumping from point A to Z with my help.  See how that worked?
  3. There is conversation and there is gossiping.  Which one will affect your attitude…and not in a good way?  You got it.  Gossiping about others will get you nowhere other than being labeled as someone who talks about others and can’t be trusted. Even if you aren’t contributing to the conversation, just being part of it makes you guilty by association. Not being part of that exclusive circle of gossipers, will make you stand out and keep that positive environment positive.
  4. Take the “no complaining” challenge-We all know that not every day is going to be amazing and we talked about using positive language.  Let’s go one step further and be part of the no-complaint zone. Believe it or not, there is a REAL program about not complaining for 21 days. Have you tried it?

Here is the harsh reality about complaining, business and your attitude in a business from Will Bowen, the World Authority on Complaining. The stats are shocking:

  • 78% of U.S. workers estimate wasting more than 3 to 6 hours every week listening to coworkers complain. For a small business with only 200 employees, that’s $1.2 million every year in lost productivity alone.
    • 1 out of every 11 people quit their jobs because of complaining coworkers. Good people simply don’t want to work with the drama, so they quit.
    • Nearly 50% of U.S. employees are actively disengaged from their jobs contributing only the bare minimum to keep from being fired. These people show up and collect a paycheck but they don’t contribute. The cost of replacing such employees is often more than keeping them on so they stay doing little to help the company or themselves succeed.
    • Complaining spreads like weeds choking the life out of any organization. For a team to flourish, leadership must help the people in the organization focus on opportunities rather than problems.
  • Complaint Free Businesses enjoy greater creativity and collaboration, higher profits, lower turnover and greater customer satisfaction.
  • Think about how you want to show up.  Do you need to share every detail about your life that isn’t 100% positive? Whether you have 1 person on your team or 1,000…no one needs to hear that negative chatter all the time.

When my daughter was entering into her teen years, there was definitely not a lot of consistent positivity as she was growing into that decade. I had bought a book about teenage girls and their moods and how moms should react.  One of the suggestions was to not engage in yelling and especially yelling over each other.  Instead, the suggestion was to just laugh, yes just laugh.  When you do that, it’s almost like removing yourself from the situation without walking out of the room on your child. So I tried it and at first I felt like I was from another planet but then I realized that my attitude was going from all the way on the right of the stressed out negative meter to back to the middle.  She too looked at me as if I had two heads, but then she would start to giggle and eventually the screaming and crying portions were shorter and shorter and then almost eliminated.

I’m not recommending you do that in business, but changing your mindset from a grumpy, complaining negative one to one that your customers will enjoy being around will make a huge difference in your bottom line and the longevity of your customer’s loyalty.

Judy Hoberman

Judy Hoberman

Judy Hoberman is President of Judy Hoberman and Associates, a company focused on empowering professional women. Her company combines Sales and Leadership for Women using the philosophies of her best-selling ... Web: www.sellinginaskirt.com Details