It’s Your Attitude, Own It

When I worked in retail customer service, I would tell my associates, “Smile, speak softly, and don’t argue. Your attitude will affect the customers.” My mom would have said, “A soft word turns away anger.”

Leaders need to understand how you respond to your associates will determine how they see and speak to you. Your words can inspire trust or instill disdain.

Here are 5 simple steps to demonstrating a positive attitude with your team:

  1. Body language speaks volumes. Your body language will determine if they want to have a conversation or not.  Crossed arms and a scowl is a nonverbal shout, “Go away!”  When you see an associate coming towards you smile, nod at them, let them know you’re open to having a conversation. 
  2. Give them eye contact. Eye contact, nods of understanding, and occasional rephrasing of a statement assure your associate that you are listening AND understanding. You don’t have to agree with every comment but listening and rephrasing for clarity goes a long way to building trust and a good attitude with your associates.
  3. Respond with content. Don’t just say, “Thanks Bob.” Let the associate know you heard the point and appreciate them sharing. Follow up with a simple statement of your thoughts. If you think something is worth pursuing tell the associate you appreciate the idea and you’ll follow up.  If it’s not worth pursuing, give a simple explanation of why. Remember the frustration of when you heard, “No.” and your “Why?” was followed by, “Because I said so.”  A brief explanation can go far in building a positive attitude.
  4. Follow through.  If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Let your word mean something. Saying you will and then not following through is discouraging and discouraged associates have bad attitudes. It won’t be long before you get a reputation of all talk and no action, or worse, you’re not trustworthy. 
  5. Share the glory. Acknowledge your associate’s ideas and contributions. Sharing the glory builds the team and, more importantly, builds their trust in you. No one wants to share their ideas if the “credit” is always taken by the boss.  Sharing the credit not only encourages others to share their ideas, it builds their trust in you and demonstrates that you’re a team player. 

We do not have control over the experiences or attitudes our associates have outside of the business. We can control how we respond to them when they are with us.  How do you ensure you are an accountable leader? A smile, soft word, and willingness to listen and follow through will go a long way to building a relationship of trust and positive attitudes. Find out more about how to create personal, professional, and cultural transformation for your team.

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