A photo posted by Sam Glenn – The Attitude Guy (@theattitudeguy) on
Managing Change | Embracing Growth | Employee Motivation | Leadership | Customer Service
Workplace Wellness / Communication / Inspiration / Recognition / Attitude / Teamwork
A photo posted by Sam Glenn – The Attitude Guy (@theattitudeguy) on
A photo posted by Sam Glenn – The Attitude Guy (@theattitudeguy) on
How Much Will a Bad Attitude Cost Your Company?
A positive attitude engaged in positive action leads to positive results. But what happens when not everyone has a positive attitude? Have you thought of how much a bad attitude can cost your company?
Recently, I went to purchase a Television from a well know retailer. I had an exact budget of $500. As I browsed brands and sizes of televisions, I noticed an open box special on a TV, however it was a little more than my budget, but not by much. I asked the sales associate if I could get it for $500. It never hurts to ask, right? She said, “I don’t have the authority to authorize that discount, but let me ask the store manger.”
She got on the service phone and called the manger. We stood there waiting and then waiting some more. Five minutes go by, then ten and then fifteen. She excuses herself to try and call the manager again. A short five minutes later, I see what appears to be a manager rounding the corner of the electronics aisle. I could tell this manager was not in a good mood because as he walked around up to me and the sales associate, he exuded an attitude of negativity – like we just interrupted his day. This is not the best way to approach a customer who represents revenue. His negativity continues. He did not make any eye contact with me, great me with a hello, smile or seem all that interested in being helpful. He just wanted to get on with his day as I was not a customer, but a hiccup.
First words out of his mouth were the wrong words, “What seems to be the problem?” The sales associate explained that I had a budget of $500 and the open box was just a few dollars over my budget, but she wanted to get authorized to discount it so I could afford it.
“Without even letting the sales associate finish what she was saying, the manager rudely shook his head back and forth and said with an agitated tone, “No, we can’t give you the discount because it has already been discounted.” Then turns on his toes and begins to march away.
You see, what you permit is what you promote and I don’t tolerate being treated the way that manager treated me. Before he got to the end of the aisle, I called out, “Excuse me, what is your name?”
Very defensively, he turns and points to his name tag, “I am manager Mike.”
I said, “I have money to spend today and the way you just treated me as a customer was inappropriate behavior, especially someone in a leadership role as yourself. The difference between you and I is that I represent revenue for this company and you represent an expense. Treating customers how you just did is how you lose revenue. Would you agree with that manger Mike?”
Manager Mike didn’t really appreciate my valuable leadership training. The bottom line is, I walked into this large retailer to spend hard earned money which translates into revenue and profit for the company. Manager Mike’s bad attitude cost the company the sale. I don’t give money to companies that treat me bad and nor should you. What manager Mike didn’t realize is that as a customer, it doesn’t matter how big of a retail chain you are, I as a single customer hold the power to “FIRE” your entire company at my choosing. I do that when I choose not to buy from you anymore.
Now, whoever trained manager Mike forgot to mention that attitude determines sales, customer care, leadership and success. Or they didn’t put enough emphasis or priority into attitude training that the consequence is lost revenue. This begs the accountability question, who should be held accountable for any employee associate in the workplace that acts in a manner that creates negative circumstances as manager Mike did?
Now to a big retailer like this, you might think it is not a big deal. Well I happen to know for a fact that this company cut out their attitude wellness programs because of budget issues. Was it the best choice for them? Let’s do some math and we will see. In a recent customer service survey, they this international retailer was rated next to last next to tech support. It gets better. To justify why stock prices have dropped to the shareholders, the CEO is quoted as saying “People are just running out money.”
People may be tight on money these days, which means they are getting smarter about how they shop and where. In an effort to generate more income to raise the stock price, this retailer decided it would cater to “gun enthusiast” by selling guns in more of their stores. Are you getting the math yet?
If you were going to do anything to generate revenue for your organization and you are ranked almost dead last in customer service, it shouts, “Get a clue. Bad attitudes are an expense that will cost you profits.”
My $500 lost sale may not have been much to this retailer, but let’s just say you duplicate my experience which I had with them and put that in 5000 of their stores. And then let’s do some math; take one employee associate from every store who treats a customer in a negative way only one day out of the year and it costs the store $500 in lost revenue. How much does that come out to be? $2,500,000 a year. Can you believe that a bad attitude could cost that much? What if we change it up a bit and say 5 bad attitudes cost the store $500 each 5 days a year in 5000 stores. A bad attitude equals: $62,500,000. Wow! That number is insane and is a result of bad attitudes in the workplace. It doesn’t really matter how you calculate the scenario, a bad attitude will cost your company a small fortune and if a big retailer like the one I am highlighting, a good size fortune. Does it make sense to develop and make some sort of attitude wellness program part of training procedures?
Understanding and implementing this philosophy into your company can save you a good chunk of change. When you mix the right attitude into your efforts, skills and knowledge, you work to achieve the right results. The bottom line is this: A positive attitude will do more for you and through you than a negative attitude will. If you are not investing a little time and effort into ensuring that the right attitude is being distributed by employees, you will invest a fortune fixing the mess that a bad attitude creates. It’s not about wearing a slogan on your vest, shirt as much as it is actually living up to that slogan through your attitude and actions. Words don’t mean anything unless you can back them up. It is deception when your uniform says you care, but bad attitude clearly says you don’t. It is the responsibility of leadership to make sure that their people have the right tools and guidance in order to develop, maintain and serve others with a better attitude.
This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy. Sam is a sought after keynote motivational speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action to achieve positive results. Sam Glenn’s Speeches and Motivational Books offer strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and a positive culture where people will thrive. Sam Glenn is a great kick off speaker or closing to any event. Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (www.SamGlenn.com)
Question: Marlene, explain what you mean by drama?
Answer: Everyone knows what it’s like to dread making a call when you know you should. Or it’s the voice in your head that makes you doubt your ability, or the fear that you don’t have enough time or money.
For the leader, drama can manifest while preparing for a difficult conversation, or introducing a change that you know the employees are not going to like, or even dealing with the negativity and lack of motivation within your team.
In my book, Stop Workplace Drama, my definition of drama is “Any obstacle to your peace or prosperity.” So…you need to become aware when you are not in a joyful place, or when you are not motivated, or when you feel confused or divided, because that means there is drama; and drama always impacts your personal effectiveness.
Question: All drama has three components within it. What are they?
Answer: There is always a lack of clarity. Think of the overly creative boss who keeps changing direction on the team; that create tremendous drama. Or maybe you do well in your career but you want to leave and find something more fulfilling. That’s an example of a lack of clarity. Another indicator of drama is a relationship issue. And finally, there is always resistance when there is drama.
Question: Your fifth principle in the book is stop relationship drama. What does this mean?
Answer: This principle is based on The Karpman Drama Triangle. When relationships are dysfunctional, you will see three patterns emerge: the victim, the persecutor, and the rescuer. We all know what victim behavior is: “t’s not my fault…” “There’s not enough time.” It’s the finger pointing, the pouting, the excuses. This drives managers crazy. So, in all drama, you will find these three patterns.
But not all relationships are about people. I jokingly tell everyone in my presentations that the best relationship advice I ever got was to fall in love with the phone. When I started my career, I didn’t realize what a wonderful sales tool the phone was, and I avoided it. I had a bad relationship with it. I felt like a victim, because although I had the skills to use the phone, I had negative thoughts about the phone. So when there is drama, look for a relationship issue, and that will help you get to the core of the problem.
Question: How you identify resistance?
Answer: When someone says, “I would BUT…..” that is resistance. You see a lot of excuse making in resistance. “The reason I don’t think that would work is because……” In the book, I teach you how to look for what I call “four patterns” of resistance so that, as a manager, you can tell if you are getting through it or not. You can stop resistance in its tracks before it becomes a big problem, if you utilize these tools. I also talk about the particular attitude and language that happens right before change, and I call that “The Fulcrum Point of Change.” You can even use this with your clients when you are making a sale.
What drama are you dealing with today? How can you cut through the fog and create clarity?
I get asked about the subject of difficult co-workers a lot, so I couldn’t resist publishing this article sent to me by Jill Cook-Richards. I hope it helps! -Sam Glenn
No matter where you’re currently employed, you likely have to deal with a few difficult co-workers on a regular basis. Whether these people test your nerves by being publicly hostile, gossiping behind your back, or being stubborn and unyielding to new ideas, they’re enough to make you want to quit. But in today’s economy, quitting any job is simply not an option. Therefore, your best bet is to learn not only how to get along with difficult people, but also to learn a few lessons from them.
Realize that no matter how difficult someone seems, working together harmoniously is possible. With a little self-reflection, understanding, and patience, you can get along with anyone. Following are a few suggestions for making difficult co-workers more bearable.
Any workplace—from a highly formal and technical environment to a relaxed and close-knit company—ultimately becomes an extended family. That doesn’t mean you have to invite your co-workers over for holiday dinners. It simply means that people tend to extend their personal relationships from their family to their professional relationships. In other words, if someone has a problem with their mother or father, it’s probable they’ll have a problem with their male or female boss. If they’re in a family where siblings are jealous or competitive, or where they’re bullied by each other, that kind of relationship will develop with their co-workers. This phenomenon is called transference—whereby you transfer your personal relationships into the workplace. The best way to overcome this is to focus on your personal life and make it as good as it can be. Mend your personal relationships, talk out problems with parents or siblings, and get your home life in order. By doing this, you’ll be stronger to handle the work relationships and will start transferring your positive personal relationship aspects rather than the negative ones.
Whatever you do, don’t try to make friends in the workplace. Remember that you’re there to do a job, not to make friends. If you happen to work with someone you like and a friendship develops, that’s fine. But don’t force it or think you have to be friends with all your co-workers. If you can keep this concept in mind, you’ll be able to look at the relationship from a purely professional perspective and keep your emotions out of it. The more you can leave your emotions out of the workplace, the more peace of mind you will have there.
Every difficult person you encounter in the workplace is actually helping you learn something you can use for your future. For example, suppose you have a boss who undermines your efforts or who berates you. You certainly don’t like being treated like that, so you make a mental note that when you’re in a leadership position you’ll never act like that. This is called learning by opposite. When someone is displaying a behavior you don’t like, you become more aware of what you want to do and who you want to become as you move up in the workplace. Learning by opposite is very powerful. So rather than let the difficult people frustrate you, see them as teachers who are helping to shape you into the person you want to become.
If you’re having a problem with a difficult co-worker, stop and look at your role in the relationship. Are you playing the “two wrongs can make a right” game, where you do something that you know will set the person off just because he or she annoyed you recently? Remember that every relationship is a two-way street, so look at yourself and how you’re contributing to the difficult behavior. Remove yourself emotionally from the situation and concentrate on your own strengths so you can make the relationship less difficult. If the other person doesn’t change or still blatantly doesn’t like you, that’s okay. Stop caring what others think. The only thing that matters is what you think about the other person. If you don’t like the way you’re thinking about someone, then make some changes in your thinking and internal dialogue. In the end, the only person you can change is yourself.
Face it…difficult relationships are a part of the business world. Therefore, don’t look for the elusive perfect workplace. It simply doesn’t exist. The best approach is to accept that people think differently, act differently, and respond to situations differently than you do. Then, do what you can to look at the other side of the fence. Get an understanding of the other person’s point of view or where they’re coming from. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or like them. You just have to accept that they have a different way of handling stress or approaching situations. When you can make this mindset shift, you’ll be more patient, understanding, and forgiving of others…and they won’t seem as difficult anymore.
Remember, none of your co-workers were hired to please you. Each person was hired because they possess a certain skill and can do a certain job—not because they are friendly or easy to work with. As such, a few difficult ones are bound to be in the mix. So don’t quit your job because of your difficult co-workers or even a difficult boss. Chances are you’ll find the same kinds of difficult people in your new workplace anyway. Instead, work to ease the difficult relationship by focusing on yourself and your own mindset. When you make yourself the focus rather than the difficult co-worker, you diffuse the relationship and become both happier and more productive in all aspects of life.
How do you deal with negative coworkers? Post your response!
About the Author: Jill Cook-Richards is a Life Coach and Counselor. She consults business executives, health care professionals and educators. She is a regular columnist for several magazines and has spoken at all types of companies, corporations, and associations such as UPS, and the Mayo Clinic. She has also worked in television, radio, and the movie industry. She is the author of the upcoming book “How to Heal Any Relationship from A to Z.” To reach Jill call (904) 396-4060 or email JillCookRichards@yahoo.com.
Ivan Misner, over at Networking Now blog (on the Entrepreneur.com blog network), has an interesting post today about solutions-focused attitudes. Too many folks in this world, says Misner, have a problem-focused attitude, which invites resistance and stunts growth.
Do you have a problem-focused attitude or a solutions-focused attitude? Read More →