Attitude is Everything to a Team

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John Whitaker

Attitude Everything to a Team_Happy businesswoman with positive attitude

“Good morning my love.”

Me: Good morning.

“What can I do for you today, my love?”

Me: (now blushing somewhat) …well, I guess a McGriddle and large caramel macchiato.

“Okay sweetheart, please pull up to the window.”

And there at the drive-thru window of the McDonald’s on my way to work, I met Miss Nina. And I did so with a huge smile on my face – and I’m not to be confused with a “morning person.” How did she do that?

I’m a creature of habit, so even when I travel my patterns are easy to predict. As it happens, this edition of the “Golden Arches” sits ¼ mile from the front door of the Marriott where I stay, perfectly situated for a morning cup of hot tastiness on the way into the office. On a recent week-long trip, Miss Nina was there to greet me on three of the five days – I can tell you without hesitation that my outlook and attitude on the three “Nina days” was decidedly better than those sans Nina.

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I realize in today’s world, it’s a risky venture to refer to anyone as “sweetheart.” As a 50-something (b/c I’m a gentleman) years young temporary worker, Miss Nina obviously felt it worth the risk. Political Correctness aside, there’s a reason this touched me enough that I felt compelled to include it in this series:

  • Her sincerity was palpable – No, not because she called me “love” (but c’mon, how freaking sweet is that?); you just knew that she was there to serve. And I’m certain she wasn’t just using this approach with me. This was her way to bring joy to every customer just beginning the day.
  • She was consistent – I’ll be back in a couple weeks to spot-check, but three days I received this greeting. Maybe with a slightly different variation or cadence, but I think that only reaffirms my guess that she’s sincere, not rehearsed.
  • Let’s face it, she’s effective. For the most part I’m a Starbucks snob, but the convenience of McDonald’s made it worth a one-time visit. That turned into five morning stops at McDonald’s on this trip alone, which is five more times than the last 10 years. Creature of habit or not, I’m a sucker for customer service and good attitudes. Powerful stuff.

This isn’t a radical new discovery – attitude breeds attitude, positivity (or negativity) is contagious. “The Mirroring Effect” is wired into our prehistoric DNA. In Steven Covey’s “Speed of Trust” learning module, consistent actions that are legitimate and/or trustworthy are a big part of the formula.

As the new leader for a team legitimate powerhouses, it would be very easy to take a different (and counter-productive) track. Instead of focusing on establishing my own credibility or proving my worthiness of the role, I’ll focus on beginning each day with the same query – “What can I do for you today?”

That’s how to keep ‘em coming back.


Image courtesy:  Stock Photo Secrets


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