Archive for Success

5 Signs Your Workplace Has The Magic of Enthusiasm

Something incredible happens when enthusiasm shows up in our attitude, our efforts, our workplace and our life…I call it magic!

Some might argue that you can’t measure enthusiasm in the workplace and I enthusiastically disagree. Enthusiasm always reveals itself in the work we do, how we serve, sell, educate, and lead.

The other day, I stayed at the Sheraton Hotel downtown Memphis Tennessee.  In 20 years of speaking professionally to every type of industry you can imagine, I will tell you that the first sign an organization has the magic of enthusiasm is when their people are more engaged, loyal and create exceptional experiences for their customers.

Organizations that lack enthusiasm have
higher turnover, poor leadership,
and consistently struggle.

I called down to room service to order up some breakfast.  I ordered a small pot of coffee, a cheddar cheese omelet and a side of bacon.  Thirty minutes later, there was a knock at the door – room service!  I was hungry and excited to eat a good breakfast. When I signed the bill, I noticed the price for everything was $54.  I even remarked,

“For $54, this better be the best omelet on the planet.”
Anticipation of a great mealTypically when you order room service, they charge you a ton of fees, so it adds up quickly.  I like to eat my breakfast in my room so I can work and prepare for my day.

When I lifted the topper off the plate and saw the omelet, my first thought was, “That’s it?!”
What I saw was about the size of  KitKat candy bar -not big at all. In addition to not having any size, it was watery and runny.  I remember thinking, “Did they soak my omelet in water before they brought it up?”
I then cut into the omelet to check the cheese content, and it was evident that there was a possible cheese shortage in Memphis. Even Elvis would be disappointed.  When you order a $54 omelet with cheese, you kinda expect the state of Wisconsin to be in there!

It was evident that whoever made this omelet didn’t have the magic of enthusiasm in their work.  At best, it was a $2 omelet and that is appraising it on the high end. Honestly at that point I was just hoping not to get food poisoning.

My initial thoughts were, “Why should I pay $54 for something that looks like it was cooked on a hot plate in an unclean gas station?” I would be doing the Sheraton Hotel in Memphis a disservice if I didn’t speak up. They will never get better if they are not aware there is an issue.

The Second Sign that organizations have the Magic of Enthusiasm is they are always striving to get better.

They work hard to improve their people, service and products.  They learn from their mistakes and conflicts and always strive to get better.

I called down to the front desk and spoke with someone who seemed to have as much enthusiasm as paint drying on a wall.  Let’s be real, you can tell when people care and when they don’t.  He didn’t.

The Third Sign your organization has the Magic of Enthusiasm is your people care.

When your people care, it shows in how you communicate with each other and with customers.  Customers should feel you smiling through the phone.

I asked the manager why the omelet was made so poorly and if he felt it was right to charge $54 for what they sent up. His response was, “I am sorry, we just get busy. Do you want us to send up a new omelet?”
I said, “No, Thank you! Unfortunately I do not have time. And I imagine it costs you guys a lot more when you have to do things over again.”  Basically, I was trying to create a teachable moment without charging my normal fee.

The guy at the front desk asked me, “So what do you want us to do about it?”
My response to anyone who asks such a question like this is, “Do something that will make me happy, smile and want to tell others about your organization.”
His response was a very bland “Ok sir.”
In the end, they didn’t do anything to fix it.  They charged me $54 for a $2 omelet.

The forth sign your organization has the magic
of enthusiasm is you hire people who care.

Southwest Airlines was once asked why their people care so much and their response was golden, “Because we hire people who care.” A sign your culture needs to make adjustments is if your organization has high turnover.  It means you are either not hiring the right people or your culture is so bad that people want out.

The fifth sign your organization has the magic of enthusiasm is your leadership makes it a priority.

Attitude is contagious. Great visions and ideas might be born at the top of your organization, but they grow from the ground up.  Leaders who value engaged employees, make it a priority to empower people with that special ingredient that makes success possible – enthusiasm.   Have you ever been to a Chick-Fil-A and seen how the teenagers there serve customers?  It’s outstanding.  It’s a sign they have great leadership.  Now, go to any other place a teenager might be working, my bet is it’s not going to be or have the same experience as Chick-Fil-A.

Without enthusiasm, we are just zombies going through the motions. An organization can only be truly successful if every person from the lowest level to the highest level works with enthusiasm and pride.  When you have the magic of enthusiasm, your $54 omelets will look and taste like a $1000 omelet.

magic-topperYou get the picture – enthusiasm pushes us to go above and beyond.  If you want magic to happen in your workplace, relationships and life then remember to incorporate a little enthusiasm and see what happens!

The Last Great Restaurant

Sam Glenn the attitude guy headshotA few years ago when I was a resident of Naperville IL, there was a small restaurant a few blocks away from my house that I got to know very well. It became my hot spot to go have coffee, think, write, and go out to eat with family. I think they had been in business for over 20 plus years. It wasn’t the most beautiful on the inside, but the food and service are what made it work.

I submitted a proposal to speak at a national conference on food and hospitality, however they didn’t think my speech title was a good fit for people in their industry – Hospitality Starts with Attitude. I was surprised they didn’t see the real value in attitude. Because isn’t it with our attitude that we do our work, service customers, build business, solve problems, make new ideas work, do more with less, etc? It all starts with attitude. 

I remember walking into that restaurant in Naperville and the owners would nod to me and say, “Mr. Glenn, sit where you like.” People would look at me like I was famous. It was really cool. Sometimes when I pulled up, the wait staff would have my beverage of choice waiting for me at a table.

Let me point out, they made it a point to get to know me.

When I took my wife, who I was dating at the time, there for the first time thought I owned the place based on the way they treated me. It was awesome. After my mom would have treatments at the hospital, we would pop in and share a sticky bun and catch up on life.

But, then one day it all changed. The owners were ready to retire and so they sold the restaurant. The new owners painted the walls, got new tables, chairs, menus, everything. It looked like a brand new place inside. It was nice. Once all the changes were made I decided to go up there for breakfast and check everything out and see how the new owners were doing. It was all new people working there and it wasn’t very busy either. I wasn’t greeted with a smile and when I asked about sitting next to the window, was refused because the section was closed off. I sat at a booth and my coffee cup never saw a refill. In fact the new owner was sitting at a table behind me talking to an advertising expert on how to get more people in the door. The prices he was quoting her for flyers, adds in the paper, radio spots was outrageous. And still my coffee cup remained empty, I had become invisible. I wanted to turn around and let the new owner on a tip that would save her a fortune – create a story and an experience that people will share with others and will want to return too. I came back over and over because of attitude. But because of the new owners attitude and lack of service I never returned to that restaurant again. If you want to be successful in the restaurant business and the world of hospitality, then remember it all starts with attitude.

My wife and I have a ritual and that is every weekend we go out for breakfast. We change it up. We live in Carmel IN now, and we mix it up a little. There is one restaurant that has amazing food, but the worst service you could imagine. We tend to eat at Cracker Barrel quite a bit. The food is actually so so, but we like the ambiance and atmosphere. And we haven’t had bad service yet. The managers there do a good job. Even though they try to push candy on you when you pay for the bill, we still like going there the most.

Over the past few years, I have had the chance to speak at Purdue University and Iowa University dining services. Great folks and some of the best groups I have ever spoken for. The idea is to let them know that what they do is important and how you serve others is the key to success.

Helpful tips for the hospitality and food industry:

Be aware of your attitude. Is it helping create a positive story or not?

What builds the best business is word of mouth, do such a good job they tell others and want to come back.

Give your best effort. If you see a need, step in and help out. If you have a great idea, share it.

At the end of the day, it really does boil down to one word – Attitude. Leaders who lead with a positive attitude create an example that others can duplicate and to be successful, that is what you want. When you don’t care or portray a mediocre attitude, expect others to mirror that.

As I finish writing this blog, I am sitting in the restaurant of my hotel and not once did I see the bottom of my coffee cup. I love to tip and talk about great experiences, and recognize good work.  So I am going to leave a nice tip for my waitress and thank her for her great service. 

Sam Glenn is an award winning keynote speaker and is often the highest rated speaker at every conference he speaks at.  If you are looking for an uplifting speaker that your audience will absolutely love and gain value from, then contact Sam Glenn’s office about booking him.  – Sam@SamGlenn.com

My dentist went home and forgot I was still in his chair 

Sam Glenn, speaker, author
The lights flickered off, and I looked around with a mildly numb jaw.  I called out” hello??!!”
The receptionist sounded more surprised when she realized there was a customer still in the dental chair – me!
She came back and asked why I was still here.  I said, “well, I have a cavity and the dentist shot me full of numbing medicine and said he would be right back.  It’s been over an hour, will he be coming back soon?”
She looked horrified and said, “Umm, he went home for the night.”

Let’s stop the story and play, “What would you do?”

At that moment I discovered a fear greater than that of the sound of the drill – bad service.  I am not making this up, they literally forgot me, in the chair, with a numb mouth.I didn’t know what else to do so I got up, went home with a sore jaw and would never ever return.  But moving forward and having to look and pick out a dentist was a scary and some what awkward process. There is really no polite way to ask, “In a year how many patients do you forget about before leaving for the day?”I told my brother the story and he said, “You gotta go to my guy, he is awesome. ”

At this point, I am thinking all dentists are evil. The best business for a good dentist is word of mouth.  I acted on my brothers recommendation and it was a great experience.  I think I confused the dentist when I kept asking if he was going to leave me.

His staff was friendly.  They didn’t try to sell me on anything I don’t need.  Sometimes dentist’s do that. They show you an ugly picture of teeth gone bad and then tell you if you buy this mouth wash for $100 that your teeth will be happy forever.  When I ask the Dr. “What do you suggest?”

I am hoping his response geared towards my health and long term well being and not just an add on to the menu of options that will add more cash in his pocket.  I know the dentist has to make a living, but if you do things in a way that dissolves fear and builds trust, you should never have to worry about the money – it will follow.

The dentist that forgot me in the chair had one of the nicest offices I have ever seen.  They had state of the art equipment, which was really cool.  They worked with my insurance.  They had everything that would assume a successful practice, but they lacked one thing that can’t be bought – awareness.

Awareness is this:

1. Communicate you care.

Get to know your customers, ask questions, and focus on helping them achieve long term goals as well as solving short term concerns.

2.  Each patient or customer doesn’t have to be a one time patient/customer.

Focus on long term relationships, people talk.  A successful practice is built on happy patients who rave about their experience and not only come back, but tell their friends.

3. Build trust.

Don’t try to sell every possible thing you have in ever conversation you have with patient. Listen to the patient, give the best treatment possible, and then when appropriate make recommendations that will truly benefit the patient. People will come back to buy more if they trust you have their best interests at heart.

This doesn’t just apply to dentists, it applies to everyone in service positions. Be aware, communicate, build long term relationships, and build trust. When these three elements are in practice, everything else positive will quickly fall into place.

 

Sam Glenn is an award winning keynote speaker and is often the highest rated speaker at each conference he speaks at.  If you are looking for an uplifting speaker that your audiance will absolutely love and gain value from, then contact Sam Glenn’s office about booking him.  – Sam@samGlenn.com

Good Advice, “ Paying Attention to the Little Things.”

Sam Glenn, Author The Gift of Attitude

When you like and love something,
there is no shame in promoting it
because you are a believer in it.

Every author loves the day when the shipping company pulls up with all those boxes of new books.  The neighbors all look out their windows wondering what we got and why there is a huge semi parked in our driveway.  I get the pallet of books into my garage and razor blade the first box open to see my completed work.  I picked the book up to inspect it and it looked awesome. The cover looked amazing.  Everything was just right.

I quickly sat down to flip through the pages and this is an author’s worst nightmare, I found grammar errors.  I found two on one page and as I read, I found another and then another.  If you read fast, you would miss them, but even so – my eyes grew in size, my blood pressure went up and I began to freak out a little, ‘What went wrong?  Why did they print the wrong version of this book?”

Before I started pointing fingers and reaching for a box of cupcakes, I logged into my account to verify that I sent the correct file.  And there it was in black and white, I sent the wrong file.  It was my fault. I had 3000 books sitting in my office that looked good, had a good message but what I call mosquito grammar errors.  Bummer.

What is the lesson:
Pay attention to the little things.

Why? Because if you don’t they will cost you.

For example, the husband who stops doing little things for his wife, eventually she will grow to resent him and just not want to be around him anymore and the husband is confused as to why. It’s the little things.

As parents, we learn this early on.  I was holding my 6 month old on my lap and responding to emails at my desk with one hand.  I was trying to multi – task, but hadn’t noticed my daughter eating a yellow legal pad until she started coughing on paper.  I felt awful about that, but I could have prevented it had I paid attention to her and been attentive to the moment and surroundings.

Another time, I was having one of my books formatted from a word document to something that looks like a book.  I assumed the graphic artist knew the book size, but at the end of the day, I assumed wrong.  It was something little, but it delayed everything and I had to pay double.

Again, the lesson is pay attention
to the little things.

We do that by learning from the times we don’t but also reminding ourselves to be more aware.  Sometimes little things get through the cracks and things happen, but if it happens a lot and enough times – it will cost you.  I am speaking from experience.

The little things add up.  If you buy a specialty cup of coffee from Starbucks everyday for a year, that adds up to be over $1200 a year, which is almost $40,000 over 30 years.  Be aware of the little things that add up or are deducted out of your bank account.  If you watch your pennies your dollars will take care of themselves.

If you eat a fat free ice cream bar today, it may not seem like a big deal. It’s a treat. You deserve it.  You crave it. You want it while you watch some tv and decompress.  But, what if you start eating one or something like it everyday?  That no big deal treat that seemed insignificant to your waist line now has added up and made you unhealthy and uncomfortable.  Little things add up, so pay attention.

One good story I have that paying attention to the little things saved me a lot of headache, heartache and cash was when I noticed that someone purchased a gift card to Best Buy, an electronics store, for $5.  It doesn’t seem like a big charge, so it would be easy to miss or something you might look at and think, well that’s not a big deal.  I called the credit card company and it was fraud.  At first the guy questioned me, “Are you sure you didn’t buy a gift card to Best Buy?”

I responded with, “Have you been to Best Buy?  Is there anything in the store that is even close to $5 and if I did buy a gift card for someone to Best Buy for $5 and gave it away, I am pretty sure who ever I gave it to might think it was a joke or never talk to me again.  It would be an insult.”

He acknowledged my point and started the process to cancel the card.  I then asked why someone would only hack my account for $5.  He said that ID thieves fish accounts and test them out to see if they are active and have funds.  They charge a small amount that doesn’t throw up any red flags and sometimes gets easily overlooked and then a few weeks later, they milk the account for all they can.

The lesson again, is pay attention to the little things. The more aware you are the more you will benefit in every area of your life, your relationships, your finances, your career, everything.

Until Next Time!

4 Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

4 Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

Wе hаνе all worked in places where we grew to drеаd getting up in the morning, and a few οf υѕ hаνе hаd thе pleasure οf working fοr a boss whο mаkеѕ υѕ feel lіkе wе саn dο anything right. Lеt’s examine a few differences between a positive аnd a negative work environment.

Signs οf a Negative Work Environment

  • Thе boss іѕ unfriendly.
  • Thе boss іѕ critical.
  • Thеrе іѕ high employee turnover.
  • Thеrе іѕ low employee morale.
  • People watch thе clock.
  • People don’t gеt much performance feedback.

Sam Glenn, Leadership QuoteSigns οf a Positive Work Environment

  • Thе boss demonstrates interest іn thе employees.
  • Thе boss hаѕ аn encouraging attitude.
  • Employees lіkе working thеrе.
  • Thеrе іѕ evidence οf company pride аnd loyalty.
  • People know whеrе thеу stand wіth thеіr supervisors.

Thousands οf books hаνе bееn written οn thе subject οf managing аnd motivating people, аnd аѕ many training seminars аrе conducted οn thіѕ subject around thе world еνеrу day. And уеt іt’s іntеrеѕtіng thаt even wіth аll οf thіѕ available information, few companies succeed аt сrеаtіng a positive work environment. Why is that?  Is it really that complicated or is someone making it complicated?  My research points to someone or several who make the process difficult.  There are four simple skills that if you implement them, you will begin to experience a more positive work atmosphere.  Lеt’s see whаt’s involved.

Four Key Leadership Skills to a Positive Work Atmosphere

Crеаtіng a positive work environment іѕ based οn four key skills. Thеу аrе:

  • Tеll people whаt уου expect οf thеm.
  • Shοw interest іn уουr team members.
  • Crеаtе аn encouraging environment.
  • Recognize аnd reward gοοd performance.

Leadership Skill #1 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

State Yουr Expectations

Telling people whаt уου expect οf thеm means doing thе following:

• Communicating expectations clearly

• Having a specific job description

• Identifying specific performance standards

• Specifying deadlines

• Setting goals

Leadership Skill #2 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Shοw Authentic Interest іn Yουr Team – Employees – Associates

Whаt behaviors convey thаt someone іѕ interested іn уου?

  • Mаkіng eye contact
  • Calling уου bу name
  • Asking уουr opinion
  • Smiling
  • Complimenting уουr work
  • Taking уουr suggestions

Thеѕе behaviors convey a lack οf interest:

  • Ignoring уου
  • Nοt knowing уουr name οr nοt using іt
  • Nοt asking уουr opinion
  • Ignoring уουr suggestions
  • Nοt commenting οn уουr work
  • Following уουr suggestion, bυt οnlу whеn heard frοm someone еlѕе

Such signs discourage productivity bесаυѕе thеу mаkе people feel discouraged, аngrу, less confident, аnd stripped οf self-esteem.

Leadership Skill #3 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Crеаtе аn Encouraging Environment

Mοѕt people wουld agree thаt аn encouraging work environment іѕ one whеrе:

  • Yουr іdеаѕ аrе valued.
  • Creativity іѕ encouraged.
  • Initiative and risks аrе encouraged.
  • Fun аnd laughter аrе accepted.
  • Nеw іdеаѕ аrе rewarded.
  • Yου feel appreciated.
  • People thank уου fοr уουr contributions.
  • Flexibility іѕ valued.
  • Yου feel lіkе раrt οf thе team.

Crеаtіng such аn environment results іn thе following benefits tο employees.

Yου:

• Contribute more іdеаѕ.

• Feel more committed.

• Look forward tο coming tο work.

• Arе more productive.

• Hаνе increased self-esteem.

• Have loyalty

Crеаtіng such аn environment results іn thе following benefits tο managers аnd business owners:

• Less turnover

• Less sabotage

• Greater loyalty

• Easier tο find employees due tο gοοd reputation

• Higher productivity

Leadership Skill #4 to a Positive Work Atmosphere:

Recognize аnd Reward Gοοd Performance

A reinforcer іѕ anything thаt happens, аftеr a behavior, thаt tends tο increase thе chances thаt thе behavior wіll bе repeated. Meaning, if you like what someone is doing, reinforce it my acknowledging the action.   Included аrе such things аѕ:

• Compliments

• Smiles

• Thumbs-up gesture – a little cheesy, but still fun to do.

• Saying “Thank уου″

• Public announcement οf уουr achievement

• Positive letter іn уουr personnel file

• Promotion

• Time οff

• Special parking space

• First сhοісе οn schedule

• Dinner wіth thе boss

• Tickets tο аn event

• Extra employee discount

• Picture οn thе bulletin board

• Applause аt a meeting

  • A gift card for gasoline
  • An all paid vacation.  (my personal choice)

Here are a few Recognition Guidelines

  1. Describe thе results уου аrе recognizing. Bе specific. It’s іmрοrtаnt tο mаkе сеrtаіn thе employee knows whаt behavior οr accomplishment уου аrе referring tο.
  2. State уουr personal appreciation. Sау, “I appreciate іt.” Adding уουr personal appreciation mаkеѕ thе compliment feel more genuine.
  3. Encourage thе person tο continue producing such gοοd work. Thіѕ increases thе chances thаt thе person wіll repeat thе desirable behavior.

Would you like a more positive work environment and the positive benefits that come along with it?

Then,  start small to get the ball rolling in the right direction by taking initiative to implement these 4 skills to a positive work environment.  Are they hard to do?  Not at all.  Can you start right now?  Yes you can!

 

This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy.   Sam is a sought after motivational speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action.  Sam Glenn offers strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and the right culture where people will thrive.  Sam Glenn is a great kick off or closing to any event.  Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (www.SamGlenn.com)

How To Deal With A Bad Apple In The Workplace

Bad attitudes are a completely natural part of being, well, human. Everyone catches a bad or negative attitude at some point in their lives. However, the truth is,  no one likes being treated badly because of a bad attitude.

In fact, bad attitudes simply drive morale down. It makes everyone feel worse than they probably already do. Some people respond to bad attitudes with more negativity and/or annoyance, while others simply retract into themselves, unable to cope with the situation. No matter the reaction, bad attitudes simply make people feel outright bad. This is especially the case for business-oriented environments.

Bad apples in the workplace?

The bad attitude of a particularly ‘bad apple’ can essentially ruin the entire workforce’s morale. As an example, encouraging a positive attitude in employees directly improves team communication and teamwork, increases their overall morale and makes them much more productive.

Bad or negative attitudes, however, provide the exact opposite effect. They say that it’s just one bad apple that can spoil the entire bunch—and that saying is very much true when it comes to bad attitudes in the workplace.

How can one bad apple ruin morale and stifle productivity? People harboring negative attitudes make other workers feel more stressed, ruining any potential for teamwork opportunities since a company’s overall employee engagement will suffer.

If that bad attitude worker continues making people feel stressed, it directly affects their moods to the point of decreasing productivity. Managers and/or employers don’t want to deal with bad attitude employees too, since they can make their management practices ineffective in the long run.

What makes a bad apple in the workplace?

Bad apples in the workplace vary, generally depending on the type of person harboring a negative attitude. Most, however, possess traits that many managers and/or employers recognize as detrimental to their workplace environment like:

  • Testing and/or criticizing company policies and rules
  • Lacking motivation, performing the bare minimum of work and/or refusing to work
  • Spreading malicious gossip/rumors, treating employees/employers with a lack of respect
  • Maintaining control over the workplace atmosphere by using negativity
  • Conducting themselves in a poor manner

Many bad apples possess one or more traits that can significantly impact the performance of a workplace. They can also be incredibly difficult to sway or convince to change their attitudes, especially when they’re set in making the environment unpleasant for others. Sometimes, these negative employees might not have enough evidence against them for an employer and/or manager to seek a suspension and/or termination of their services.

To handle that, employers should understand how to deal with problematic employees, so they can possibly eliminate their negativity from their workplace atmosphere, making everyone much more comfortable.

Resolving problems with negative attitudes in the workplace

How can an employer deal with bad apples anyway? Most of the time, many negative employees are, well, shown the door after they’ve tested the final warning of their employer. Some people, especially small business owners, might not know how to ‘show bad apples the door’ much like their medium to big business counterparts.

Some small part of ourselves always stops us from taking things a step further, especially regarding taking disciplinary actions. Any employer, however, can discipline a problematic employee, as long as they take a few steps:

  • Give them a warning. Most employers take the verbal approach, as it’s considered the most honest and upfront way to talk to problematic employees. Some employers question these employees of their potential behavioral issues, pointing out exactly why said issues impede the workplace.
  • Keep record. Whether talking to them on a verbal basis or not, employers should keep record of their conversations with problematic employees. This helps keep track of the efforts made to suppress workplace problems.
  • Issue final warnings before a potential termination. Sometimes the finality of it all straightens out the worse workplace attitudes. These warnings can be either written or verbal warnings, sometimes a combination of both. Termination and/or suspension is considered the last resort for problematic employees who impede the workplace’s atmosphere—and sometimes the only solution if it hinders employee engagement and productivity.

Workers want to feel motivated to work and put in their hours for the day. To make employees feel much better about coming to work, resolving the negative attitude problem in the workplace should be the first priority of any employer.

 

This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, America’s #1 Speaker on Attitude ™ .   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)

Which Comes First: Happiness or Success?

My company often gets sent books to review. This week, we got a book in the mail called The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Anchor. It’s great stuff! The gist of it is that success does not cause happiness, but happiness attracts success. It’s based upon the principles of positive psychology, which we are also feeding into our Go Positive: Lead to Engage training program, out in 2012 (ask us for info if you are interested in hiring our trainers for your workplace!).

How does this play out in our lives? Anchor says, “The next time you interact with a colleague or direct report, make an effort to adopt a more positive tone and facial expression. This does not mean you should be inauthentic, smother your true feelings, or paint an awkward smile on your face. But the more you make a genuine effort to avoid slipping into an apathetic or irritable tone, the more your team’s performance will benefit.”

These changes are things we can control. We can choose to make our tone more positive, to smile instead of grimace, to extend the benefit of the doubt in the way we talk to others. In turn, this causes others to look at us more positively, and look at their life as one of opportunities instead of roadblocks.

The book even talks about how instead of experiencing PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), the brain can actually experience Post-Traumatic Growth. Anchor states, “Today we can say for certain, not just anecdotally, that great suffering or trauma can actually lead to great positive change across a wide range of experiences… What kind of growth? Increases in spirituality, compassion for others, openness, and even, eventually, overall life satisfaction.” The key, he says, is in our “reinterpretation of the situation or event.” In other words, we have to see it more positively, as an opportunity for growth. We have to have a positive attitude, even in the midst of trauma or distress.

In fact, Anchor points out, we actually see things differently when we infuse our lives with happiness. Imagine that! It’s like getting a windshield cleaning at the gas station!

What will you do today to choose happiness? How have you seen this have an effect in your life?

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