Listen to the corresponding podcast episode – is YOUR work team listening to the Relatable Leader podcast?
The 15 Day Attitude Challenge aligns with Catherine’s book available on Amazon:
Let’s start by taking a look at a sampling of attitude quotes:
“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you won’t go anywhere.” InspirationBoost.com
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” Scott Hamilton
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”Thomas Jefferson
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”Walter Scott
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” John Maxwell
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Zig Ziglar
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” Wade Boggs
“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” Ralph Marston
While all of these quotes may be true on some level, they simplify the concept of attitude and can become empty platitudes posted on conference room and break room walls if organization leaders don’t work these ideas into the workplace culture. Most people aren’t going to read those quotes and know how to rewire their attitudes or enhance the attitudes they currently access. You must take action to be prepared for your success.
In my twenty-five plus years of professional training, employee negativity has been a common theme. I am frequently hired to assist with attitude shifts. In my experience, attitude is complex and multi-dimensional. People have frequently asked for my book on this subject and for years I’ve responded that I was still studying the topic and trying to further understand attitude in practical terms. Working with people on all levels of organizations and in various industries informs the information I share in this book.
Bottom line when I assist with attitude: I help employees step in for action, step up a solutions and options perspective, and step outside their comfort zones.
- Why are you doing and saying the things you are doing and saying? or –
- Why aren’t you doing and saying the things appropriate to do and say in certain situations?
- What needs are you trying to meet in those situations?
- How can you get your needs met using healthy and positive methods?
These questions look simple on the page. However, discovering the answers to these questions can require a deep dive into various aspects of what make us unique individuals. I find most people haven’t thought about attitude in the way in which I frame it, which is why my work has been a change catalyst for many. Although people can experience a few “ah-ha moments” in my three-hour live Mastering a Positive Attitude training, a total shift and new outlook typically requires individual coaching over the course of, on average, three months.
In this book I share with you my individual coaching approach to Mastering Positive Attitude Habits. You can contact me through my website, relatableleader.com, to request your personalized three month coaching program that includes weekly coaching sessions with me.
People can have different ideas about what attitude is, so I find it useful to start by sharing the actual attitude definition.
For the definitions in this book I quote the New Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition, copyright 2010.
Attitude: “A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.”
Your perceptions about what is going on around you lead to that “settled way of thinking or feeling,” and your thinking or feeling determines your behaviors. Behaviors are what you are doing and saying, or not doing and saying.
LIVE IT! is a reminder that perceptions dictate actions. The people around you make determinations about your attitude – the way you live your life – based on the actions they experience from you most often.
Here’s the thing: what if your perceptions aren’t accurate or are flat out wrong? In that case, your behaviors are not appropriate for the situation. Many people do not catch on to this concept throughout the course of their lifetimes. The result? They take things way too personally. They are frustrated and resentful much of the time because they believe the way they feel is due to the actions of others.
You might think of yourself as a person with a positive attitude. But if your behaviors aren’t positive for the people around you, you won’t be perceived as a person with a positive attitude. The people around you are stuck with your behaviors, good, bad, or neutral. The people around you are reflecting how they feel when they are around you.
How do you think people would describe your attitude?
This is a question I’ve spent too much time worrying about. Why? I’m very driven, I push myself toward continuous results, and I’m extremely focused on customer/client service. I know there is a risk I’m too pushy with my team, carry disproportionate levels of emotion if I think anything might be put into place which limits my ability to provide the highest level service possible, and I get frustrated if established processes aren’t followed that support training awareness in our various customer channels, ease of training registration, reminder communication, comfortable training environments, and consistent training relevance and quality. I worry about being difficult to work with.
It is critical for me to provide context for my behaviors. I have to trust my team knows me well enough to know what is driving my behaviors and that they believe me when I explain “where I’m coming from”.
Fortunately I’ve received consistently positive feedback about my attitude throughout my career, but I still sometimes worry about how I’m coming across to people. The moment I find myself getting frustrated about something, I ask myself, “What is my perception about this situation? How do I know my perception is accurate?” I realize I can never know for sure unless I talk with people.
If, from this point forward, you can stay open to the idea your perceptions might be accurate, moderately accurate, somewhat off base, or completely off base, you will be above average on the attitude front. This concept is so useful because your perceptions are filtered through your life experiences, so they are naturally limited.
Before getting your emotions all wrapped up in your perceptions, you can use a simple communication tool to verify your perception.
- First is using your critical thinking skills: what is my perception of this situation?
- Share your view: “This is my perception…”
- Ask: “Is my take on this situation accurate?” or, “Does my perception match your perception?”
This communication formula does not only apply to situations that might be stressful for you. I have the tendency to get excited about what I think people want me to do or what they are approving. I find it useful to double check before I do a lot of work in a wrong direction or in a direction that might result in outcomes they weren’t looking for.
You need to be able to communicate what you think and what you feel. You need to listen to others when they talk about what they think and feel. Your first job in owning your attitude is to get to know yourself.
Up to this point in your life, you have established beliefs that impact your attitude. As part of the attitude work in this book, you will be asked to explore your belief system.
At the end of each tip I share a limiting belief and a supporting belief. The limiting beliefs are based on things clients have said to me over the years, either in group training or one-on-one coaching sessions. If the message I’ve written isn’t exactly something you might think to yourself, identify the general concept of the belief and challenge yourself to explore any similar beliefs you might be holding onto which don’t support success and only serve to put your attitude in a funk. Unfortunately, if you believe it, you will probably make it so.
The supporting beliefs at the end of each tip may or may not resonate with you as I’ve written them. If the way I’ve written it doesn’t feel inspiring for you, edit it! Write your own positive belief in the margin. Own it! LIVE IT! Supporting beliefs become the foundation for managing your mindset. Fortunately, if you believe it, you will probably make it so.
Closing thought: attitude starts with your perception and leads to your thinking expressed as behaviors. The people in your life experience positivity or negativity based on what you are doing and saying or not doing and saying. Who do you believe you are? Is your belief backed up by your behaviors?
This is your text and workbook in one! More than 300 pages of content includes 55 of Catherine’s humorous illustrations. The end of this chapter includes limiting beliefs, supporting beliefs, and action assignments so you can create momentum toward your professional and personal goals. Get the book and let’s get to work! I’ll *SEE* you in chapter 1: