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Opinion: 5 attitude adjustments for 2018

Business Shifts

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Attitude involves how we look at life. It influences our physical and emotional well-being, and affects our personal relationships.

Virtually anything worth achieving can be helped along with a positive attitude. A negative attitude, on the other hand, can seriously compromise a person’s performance and reputation. A single bad attitude can spoil the morale of an entire team, and it can ruin a customer’s experience and loyalty. Outcomes follow attitude.

Consider how an athlete’s mental perspective impacts performance, either negatively or positively. Think about the importance of a salesperson’s attitude that faces rejection repeatedly. Whether it’s an athlete in a big game or a salesperson in a crucial meeting with a prospect, attitude affects the outcome on some level.

Fortunately, we get to choose our own attitude each day. No one else has the power to shape our mindset unless we permit.

To manage our outlook at work or at home, here are five attitude adjustments anyone can master.

1. Feed yourself healthy thoughts and insights before you begin your work each day. Spend some quiet time reading, praying or in reflection before diving into work. It’s tempting to check email first thing in the morning, but this allows other people to influence our thinking first.

2. Galvanize yourself against discouragement. Once discouragement festers, it can destroy your hope, crush your spirit and make you feel like giving up. Take action against discouragement by refusing to give in to its effect, and by identifying everything you are thankful for. An outdoor marquis I read on vacation offered some good advice: “Count your blessings. Recount if necessary.”

3. Overlook minor irritations. In his book, “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff,” author Richard Carlson discusses how life consists of many minor irritations. His advice is for people to choose to minimize their anxiety over the small stuff by making the mental choices that lead to happiness. Anyone can do this by ignoring the irritation altogether, and if that doesn’t work, apply some patience and understanding in the situation.

4. Choose to view the brighter side. Some people refuse to see the positives right in front of them because they’re so focused on seeing the problems. Taking an optimistic view doesn’t deny that a problem or challenge exists, but rather it hopes for and believes in an ultimate positive outcome. Changing one’s perspective is not difficult if we will reframe the situation by looking at it from a different viewpoint.

5. Stop complaining and grumbling. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find dissatisfaction in the workplace. There are plenty of things to get fussy about when it comes to dealing with cranky bosses, irritating co-workers or with demanding customers.

Unfortunately, people that fall into the trap of complaining and criticizing end up with a bad reputation. No one wants to be around them. Over time, it can threaten a person’s career advancement or job. The late Zig Ziglar once said, “Some people are so good at complaining, you’d think they were getting paid for it.” The best advice for a chronic complainer is to stop and be more grateful.

Over the past 30 years, I’ve spoken on attitude countless times. The topical interest in attitude is in as much demand today as ever.

It would help create a better workplace, and a better life at home, if we would choose to make the necessary adjustments in our attitude this year.

Consultant and professional speaker Mark Holmes is president of Springfield-based Consultant Board Inc. and He’s also the author of “The Five Rules of Megavalue Selling.” He can be reached at


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