Have you ever went to get a cup of coffee in the morning and the person serving you seems borderline rude, or at the very least, like they just don’t care? You walk away from your experience feeling depleted or let down. You were ready to jump start your day and then…this negativity? What a bummer!
The truth is, that person is probably a really nice person, they just have a lot on their mind. This is very common in the workplace. It can create a negative environment without the person even realizing that they may be responsible for it. Nobody wants to work with a negative person, and they sure don’t want to spend money with a negative person. Of course, just because you may have had a horrible day, one day out of the entire year, doesn’t make you a negative person. Although, it possibly could, in the eyes of the people you spoke with for the first time that day.
We only get one chance to make a first impression. Those people might be afraid that all of their future experiences will mimic their initial bad experience and they may choose not to take that risk again. Maybe you’ve had a bad month and it wasn’t just that one day? There are a lot of people that will give you the benefit of the doubt and maybe even offer support, especially if they previously had received great service from you. Unfortunately, you only get to “Pass GO” a few times before the forgiveness will turn to frustration and eventually even these people may choose to distance themselves from the negativity.
It is really important for each of us to realize that each of us are the “Decisive Element” and that our “Approach Creates the Climate.” In order to foster positive relationships in all aspects of our lives, from business to dealing with our children, we have to leave our baggage at the door. It is a hard schlep to carry it around and it will get in the way of many things in your life including Sales, Relationships, Growth, Success and most importantly RESPECT from others. It is really hard to have respect for a negative person.
I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes that really puts things into perspective when you think about our responsibility to how we show up to work and our approach to life in general…
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)
Now don’t get me wrong: I am not saying this is easy or that any of us can actualize this positive approach all the time. I think that if we all just try to maintain awareness of how we effect each other and shoot for the best, we will all have more successful relationships.