There is a book entitled “Attitudes are Contagious, Are Yours Worth Catching?” It is a fun read but begs the question of how the attitudes we display are “caught” by or impact others. Many tend to believe that attitudes are personal and only impact us. You only need to observe interactions between people to see that this is not true whether in your workplace, your family, or your neighborhood.
Even on days when we are struggling, the real question is not how we feel, but rather how can we change our thoughts to create a positive attitude and therefore an ability to act in productive ways. Some time ago I read a formula that went like this: Thoughts = Attitudes = Actions. In other words, to change your attitude, you must change your thoughts. Consider the example of when you have back-to-back meetings, and you know it’s going to be a long day. You can focus on how long and tiring it is going to be, or you can think about how productive your day will be and all the people you will be able to interact with. These thoughts lead to two very different attitudes and therefore to different actions.
When you view a day as long and tiring, you will likely drink more coffee, feel more stress, and complain about how tough your day is going to be. You also will most likely not be present in your meetings as you worry about all the things you need to get done. In turn this will slow down your work and reduce your effectiveness.
On the other hand, if you choose to view your packed day as a day that will be productive and allows you to communicate/collaborate with more people it will lead you to be calm, confident and more present for the meetings. You will not need to worry about “wasted time” so you can bring creative solutions and be engaged with the projects and people you work with. Outcomes will be increased, and you will leave your day feeling productive.
You can see the huge difference this makes for all of us. How do you need to change your thoughts to have a great attitude and become effective? Let’s make today a great day!