Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:39

Attitude Matters

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it you’ll never go anywhere.”
-- Unknown

It was a typical morning. Rushing around the house to get my son ready for school, gathering all of my client files and notes for the day, grabbing something quick for breakfast. We hurried out to the garage, and loaded into the car. It was a cold morning and I had forgotten my coat. I told my son to buckle up and ran back into the house. When I returned, instead of heading straight to the driver’s side door, I walked on the other side of the car. That’s when I noticed the flat tire. At that moment, I had to make a choice. React negatively or positively to the inconvenient delay the flat tire was going to cause. It was my choice.

Attitude matters. How many times do we have to choose how something will impact our day? Either a comment that is made by a co-worker, an assignment we receive from our boss, or a flat tire in the garage. We have a choice. Let the circumstances around us negatively impact our attitude or not. It is a simple choice.

Our attitude influences our productivity as well as how we interact with those around us. Employees distracted by a bad attitude will be less productive, miss more work, and create ripple effects in the workplace.

Here are three tips to “change the tire” on your attitude:

  1. Leave it at the door

    It isn’t possible to completely shut out your personal life when you walk into the door at work. However, you can make a choice to “start the day over” at work. I have a client who has a trash can outside the door the restaurant. In the employee orientation the owners tell the employees to drop their problems in the trashcan when they walk in. They can pick the problems up after work if they wish, or they can let their problems go to the dump with the rest of the trash. It seems impractical that this would actually work, but it does. The employees’ attitudes improved with this practice.

  2. Count to 10

    It is an old practice our parents taught us. If someone upsets you, count to 10 before you say anything. My Grandpa used to say “Hmmmm, let me think about that and I’ll get back to you” when someone said something that caused him to have a negative visceral response. Some of us need to count to 10 hours, or 10 days, but counting to 10 does help us control an emotional outburst. It gives us that time to regain our emotions and respond in a more constructive manner.

  3. Eat the Frog first

    We all have things we don’t want to do and so we tend to procrastinate on completing the task. Brian Tracy tells us to “Eat That Frog” first. Tackle the task we don’t want to do first thing in the morning. Get it out of the way and off your mind. That way, if won’t be hanging over your head and bothering you causing you to be short with co-workers or customers. Getting it over with will improve your attitude the rest of the day. After all, if you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of the day has to get better, right?

Attitude is everything. Are you leaving your attitude “car” in the garage with the flat tire or are you changing the tire and going on with your day? We cannot completely control what happens to us, but we can control how we choose to react to it. And that choice either moves us closer to our goal, or away from it. It’s a simple choice.