Ever since I became a professional speaker and trainer, much of my work has been with corporations. Managers have invited me to speak to their sales forces, their office staffs or their management groups. But over the last several years there has been a change in the tone of the invitations.
In my first year, the invitations were something like this: “Keith, we’re going for a record year and I really want to keep my people pumped up. I’d like for you to help us raise our attitudes another notch.”
The times have really changed. Today, the invitations are more like, “Keith, we’ve got a lot of challenges merging different cultures. Our people are more worried about their futures than their work. Frankly, I have to do something. Keith, I know you can help us, and we’re ready to get started. What can you do to help?”
The workplace has changed dramatically. Companies are either “downsizing,” “rightsizing,” “merging” or “being acquired.” Thousands of people who thought their lives were secure through retirement are now suddenly vulnerable. Some will become unemployed, and those who remain will wonder when their turns will come.
These are the kind of circumstances that can defeat you… if you let circumstance dictate your life. That’s what happens to a lot of people. For others, the circumstance becomes an opportunity for getting where they want to go.
One of the challenges facing management and co-workers today is dealing with difficult people—those who have negative attitudes. It is important to note that a person with a negative attitude has the same power to influence others as a person with a positive attitude. The difference appears in the results.
Positive attitudes in the workplace have many benefits, including:
The opposite is true for negative attitudes. They dismantle teamwork, increase stress and cripple productivity. In the workplace, the big difference between the winners and the losers is often attitude. The salesperson who sells more, the manager who inspires her people, the manufacturing supervisor who sets the tone for everybody around them, are all good examples of what attitude does for you and everybody around you.