Sunday, January 18, 2009

Does your office need an attitude adjustment?

Stress kills a great atttitude, creativity, tolerance, and productivity. And we see stress show up first in a poor attitude. For example, when your office needs an attitude adjustment, you might see the following:
- less tolerance of things that you used to "let go" or ignore
- more complaining
- increased resistance to doing less than satisfying activities
- slower efforts toward any goal or project
- reduced behaviors that used to be common place (i.e. follow through, attention to detail, etc)

If you or those in your office are expriencing these things, then it may be time for an attitude adjustment. And, oh by the way, just ignoring those things mentioned above will not make them go away. In fact, usually, it sends the message that the new behavior is okay. This translates into unwritten permission, unspoken encouragement, development of a new habit, and most of all, DIFFICUTLY in addressing it at a later date. If you wait to adjust the attitudes, you might hear "well, why didn't you tell me month's ago? Why wait until now?"

Attitude adjustments can take many forms - but first consider the difficulty inherent to addressing attitude. It is treachorous and only for the most well developed Contagious Leader. (refer to our January 1st edition newsletter Contagious Commentary - These steps will help you have an advantagious discussion about a needed attitude adjustment:
1. ask what is getting in their way of doing differently than what you are seeing
2. ask what they are thinking or feeling about what is going on (watch your tone)
3. ask what they might be afraid of or worrying about
4. assuage those fears or worries if you can
5. if you are unable to do step 4, address what the consequences and REWARDS will be for a continuation of the behaviors and attitudes you are seeing.
6. If the above don't seem to work or make a difference, begin to closely observe the performance of those sharing their attitude with you and address performance in a separate conversation when you have enough clear, factual, and quantitative data.

You can encourage an attitude adjustment and as a leader, that is part of your role. However, keep in mind that forcing an attitude adjustment is flat out, not gonna happen. You can't change people, but as contagious leader, you CAN influence them. Maybe the best time to begin that is first thing tomorrow. You can do this.
Stay Contagious,

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