Listen to Howard talk about why attitudes are contagious in business:
Business is about the sum total of our lives. It’s the sum total of all of our business experiences, and all of our personal experiences. I can remember back when The Reader’s Digest was a very popular publication. People liked it because of the stories. There was a predictable formula to the stories but no one back then seemed to care. They would read the stories and then talk with their friends and co-workers about the stories. There were stories of motivation, inspiration, amazing survival stories, jokes and advice on all kinds of things.
As a child I remember reading a story about a woman who took the bus to work every single day. The people who rode the bus along with her every day would get on the bus and be grumpy because it was so early in the morning. This one particular day, the woman got on the bus proceeded to put on her perfume (I think it was Chanel No.5). She dropped the perfume bottle and the bottle broke. Imagine the smell – or rather the aroma of such a classic fragrance as Chanel No.5 wafting through the crowded bus so early in the morning! All of a sudden everybody’s mood on the bus changed! They were smiling, they were happy, because this particular scent just triggered something in their brains that made them feel good, that made them feel alive. To this day, I’ve never forgotten that story.
Now I’m not suggesting going around your workplace dropping bottles of Chanel No.5! But what you do need to keep in mind from this story is that attitudes are contagious in business.
If you walk into your office in the morning, and you’re not saying “hello” to people, if you’re not being pleasant, if you’re not telling them what a great job they do or how much you value and appreciate their participation. If you’re not talking about how to make it an even better place to work; if you’re not really passionate about what you do each day – well, why should anyone else be?
As the CEO, president or business owner of a company, if you don’t set the right tone, if you don’t have the right attitude, why should anyone else have the right attitude?
Here’s where we all really get ourselves in trouble – it’s really easy to get knocked off-balance today because of all the things that are happening around us at work, at home and around the world. We can’t let that happen.
Everyone that works with you whether they’re co-workers, customers or vendors, they are depending upon you in some way or another. Whether you realize it or not, directly or indirectly.
If you are grumpy and if you’re not setting the right attitude, why in the world do they want to be around you? And do you really want to be around someone that’s like this?
Those you work with may say something like this: I walk in in the morning and the place is just miserable! I spend a great deal of my life at this job. I wouldn’t want to do business with this company. I don’t really want to work for them anymore either. I’m going to look for another job.
So if we don’t have the right attitudes we’re setting ourselves up for failure because business is about people. People need to motivated, they need to be inspired, and they need to feel like they’re wanted and needed. That their contribution is of value. They need to be in a situation where the work environment is pleasant to come to every day so they can take the world on and be successful. People want to support each other but they can’t when the environment isn’t conducive to creating it.
I’d just like you to think about this right now before you go on with your day. I’d like you to think about what is your mood right now? What is your attitude right now? Are you expressing the right attitudes? Are you leading?
Are you taking people who are having a bad day, sitting down with them and say: Hey, I see it’s not going well for you today, how can I help? You know, we’re in this together! If you do that – and not if, WHEN you do that, you’re going to find people will rally with you. They’ll be thinking: Oh, I can go the extra mile for this person because he/she is such a great person to work with! I want to help in whatever way I can to get the job done!
So, consider it. And of course, I would like to hear about how you make your positive attitude contagious at your company. What puts you in a good business mood? Let me know in the comments below.
This post also appeared on Viveka von Rosen’s blog, LinkedInToBusiness. To view the post, click here.