Getting Action: Attitude

Do you consider all telephone calls from sales people a waste of time or do you examine calls for merit? Do you get defensive or impatient when an employee complains about an assignment or do you see an opportunity to improve the work environment? We all have beliefs and attitudes and they all have at least some impact on success.

Positive attitudes begin with a leader understanding their role in the organization. Leaders see the people and resources around them as the source of their power and only use the authority of their position to maintain discipline. A positive attitude is invaluable for setting direction, clarifying roles, decision making, and both encouraging and recognizing performance from the team. Strong leaders hold themselves accountable for the clarity of their communication, unbiased judgement, and development of personnel.

Leaders improve attitude by making themselves aware of the habitual responses they have brought to their role and focusing on what is happening in the present. Discouragement, blaming, worry, frustration are all rooted in a leader’s past experience or anticipation of the future. A leader’s best communication with employees happens when that leader is fully focused on what is happening right now (I.e. reality). Managing risk and discovery of new possibilities happen only when firmly rooted in reality.  Style assessments can give a leader insight on whether their natural tendency is to focus on the past, present, or future. Anyone interested taking a complimentary assessment can click here or send me an email.

Good attitude management includes regular review of your goals. When disappointed with the results from an effort, I do the following exercise: draw a large square on a piece of paper and bisect each side of the square so that it is divided into four squares. Label the upper left box “facts” and list observable details surrounding the effort. In the upper right, label it “beliefs” and list all details you think or imagine to be true.

Label the lower box “feelings” and list the emotions you are experiencing after the effort. Note that there is a one-to-one correspondence between your beliefs and feelings. After you identify those relationships, the next steps you need to take are

clear and you will execute them with appropriate emotion. List the action you want to take in the lower right box and label it “actions.”

Finally, being a strong leader requires courage and persistence. The current literature might call this emotional intelligence. Not infecting a team with the leader’s negative emotions is the greatest challenge of leadership. A great way to accelerate discovery of attitudes that are holding you back is to work with a coach. Contact me if you want to learn more and I wish you every success.

Blind Spots Challenge Attitude Self-Awareness

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