How to Lead with Attitude – Part 2

220px-Jimmy_Buffett_1I think that a positive attitude comes when we are happy, when we are having fun, and when we laugh at ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. As Jimmy Buffet reminds us,

“It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

In Part I of this Blog post I wrote about the importance of positive attitude and how to recognize the symptoms of negative attitude. Let’s explore how someone can try to change negative attitude.

Changes in Attitude.

John Maxwell says, “The key to having a good attitude is the willingness to change.” Whether you need to change your own attitude or help another change his or hers, here are eight choices you can make.

      Evaluate your present attitude – understand what causes your negative feelings and recognize the feelings in advance so you can manage your attitude.
  1. Realize that faith is stronger than fear – often negative attitudes come from fear of change. If we believe things will work out and be good in the end, we can reduce our negative attitude.
  2. Internalize your purpose – You can get at your purpose by following these three (3) steps daily:
    (a) Write down your goals for the day
    (b) Share your objectives with an encouraging friend, colleague, or team leader
    (c) Take action on your objectives and share results with the friend, colleague, or leader. This builds-in a natural level of accountability.
  3. Have the desire to change – I think this is the toughest one; people have to want to change. If you are not changing, explore the reasons. Create your own ways to get out of the rut. As Mark Twain once wrote, “Take your mind out every now and then and dance on it. It is getting all caked up.”
  4. Live one day at a time – Stop thinking about what happened yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow, it isn’t here yet. Focus on today’s goals and the successes that come with their achievements.
  5. Change your thought patterns – Maxwell says, “We can control our thoughts. Our feelings (and attitude) come from our thoughts. Thus, we can control our feelings by learning to change our thoughts.” There are some very good resources on line to help you do this.
  6. Develop good habits – An attitude comes from a habit of thought. Bad attitude comes from bad habits of thought. Here are steps for you to change your bad habits:
    (a) List your bad habits
    (b) What was the original cause of the habit?
    (c) What do you do that supports the habit?
    (d) Determine a positive habit to replace the bad one
    (e) Think about the good habit, its benefits and results.
    (f) Take actions to further develop the new habit.
    (g) Act daily on the new habit to reinforce it.
    (h) Reward yourself by noting one benefit of the new habit.
  7. Fish

  8. Choose your attitude – In the fun book called FISH , which gives us four tips on raising morale, they remind us to “choose your attitude” every day. In the video, which I have seen many times at employee functions, team members at Pike Place Fish Market talk about starting the day with a positive attitude. I recommend turning-on your positive, work attitude “light switch” before you arrive at work. If you have any challenges in your private life, turn them off before you arrive.

The most important job of a leader is to manage the attitude temperature of both ourselves and our teams. If you can’t help a person change their attitude, then it’s our job to move them off the bus, free them to their future, and make sure we don’t all go insane.

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