Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?
My wife and I recently spent a few days in New York City, enjoying the sights and sounds of Manhattan from our Madison Avenue hotel, and eating and spending time touring Central Park. One night I was sitting on the window sill, with the window open, 15 stories up (probably not what a safety professional should be doing), and couldn’t help but notice the amount of honking that goes on. I initially became aware of it during our ride into the city from the airport. However, while I was sitting on the ledge, I realized something. When one person honks, it encourages others to do the same. It became contagious. One honk led to another and then another, and before long, it was a musical nightmare of various horns reverberating from building to building. All day, all night, people honked at all hours of the day or night. Recognizing this issue, generated a few rhetorical questions:
- Do people honk just because it is New York City and that’s what they do?
- What would happen if automakers remove the horn from vehicles? Would the people of New York City be able to function?
- Is using a horn in NYC effective? Didn’t seem so. Our driver was never affected by the horn. He just did what he was going to do. However, he did use his often.
Whether good or bad, your attitude will influence others.
A person’s behavior doesn’t dictate their attitude, but their attitude can dictate their behavior.
Attitude is contagious. Our attitude will determine our success or failure and the success or failure of others. Attitude is more important than anything else, it is more important than money than any of your circumstances than your failures or your successes. It is more important than your appearance, your talent, or your skill. Your attitude will make or break you, and it will determine your ability to succeed in anything you do.
Winston Churchill said, ”Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”
There is a direct correlation between attitude and behaviors. A person’s behavior is affected by their attitude. Specifically, a person may do what is required when they must. However, remove the “must” situation, and they do what they want? Our attitude has an effect on others. Just as when one person honks in NYC, we all honk, our attitude will be contagious to many.
In our quest to positively influence a person’s attitude and ultimately their behavior, we must understand what impact our attitude has to our personal leadership. Once we understand this, we can have a positive influence on the attitudes of others.
Remember these as you consider your influence through your attitude:
- Our attitude is ALWAYS in play – Simply, our attitude has an effect on everything and everyone.
- Attitudes can lift a person or tear them down – Chuck Swindoll said, “Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react.”
- Attitudes are contagious (good or bad)
- Bad attitudes catch on and spread faster – Honking in NYC…
- Identifying bad attitudes can be difficult – This is true, especially in ourselves. We always justify our bad attitudes.
- Rotten attitudes will ruin everything – Absolutely right! How many times have you gone into a meeting or had a conversation with another person when your attitude was horrible? It never ends well.
Casey Stengel, a successful manager of the New York Yankees, had a conversation with a rookie manager named, Billy Martin. He told Billy this, “There will be 15 players who will run through a wall of fire for you, 5 who will hate you, and 5 who are undecided. When you make out the rooming list, always room your losers together. Never room a good guy with a loser. Those losers who stay together will blame the manager for everything, but it won’t spread if you keep them isolated.”
Who will you influence with your attitude today?