Upbeat and Positive Makes for Powerful Personal Impact

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

Marc Cenedella publishes the web site www.HRLadder.com.  Recently, I received an e mail from him describing the experience he had on a recent American Airlines flight. 

One of the flight attendandts was named Katherine.  She was wearing a button that said, “I Have No Idea Why I Work Here.”  Marc’s thought:

  • “And I have to tell you, that was just about the most deflating, disheartening, dispiriting, depressing thing to read after a relaxing weekend.  And I won’t share them with you here, but the rest of her buttons were of an equally sour-puss nature.  And you know, Katherine and her type stand for everything that’s bad in the world. For every one of us trying to achieve great things, there’s a Katherine standing nearby ready to tear it down. For each of us trying to make the world a better place today, this hour, this minute, there’s a Katherine in the wings sticking her tongue out.  And not only is there a Katherine, but there’s a company willing to hire her. Like American Airlines.”

He finished his e mail with these thoughts:

  • “So don’t be a Katherine!…Don’t waste your talents or fall into the trap of working for a company that doesn’t respect you, in a job where you stop respecting yourself. You’re too talented, and forward-looking, and capable to waste your years away inside a rotting body like American Airlines.  You take your career and your work seriously, and we take you seriously.  You deserve colleagues and a company that honor that.  Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short, and don’t let the Katherines of this world bring you down.  I’ll be rooting for you!”

As a frequent air traveler, Marc’s thoughts resonated with me on a number of levels. (I should mention that I am a loyal Continental customer – and I haven’t met any Katherines.)  I’d like to focus on how Katherine’s buttons relate to positive personal impact. 

As Marc points out, anyone who is so unhappy with her job that she takes to wearing button to announce it to customers can’t have a lot of respect for her company – or for herself.  If you don’t respect yourself you can have positive personal impact. 

I realize that American Airlines is going through some tough times right now.  They were very unsuccessful in merging the TWA workforce into their company.  I’m sure that Katherine has some complaints against her employer.  However, by airing them in such a public manner, she identifies herself as someone who would rather complain about her life and life circumstances than do something about them.

I’ve blogged about this before.  It does no good to be a sour grapes person.  I advise people to always answer the question, “How are you?” with the words, “Great.  Couldn’t be better.”  Even if this isn’t true, by suggesting that it is, you have taken the first step in making it so.  It’s an affirmation, and positive affirmations are a great first step in making what you want come true.

Second, by answering, “Great.  Couldn’t be better.” You make a positive personal impact.  People like to deal with others who are positive and upbeat. 

The common sense point here is simple.  People pay attention to what you say and do.  Act and speak in a manner that identifies you as an upbeat, positive, can do person; not someone who chooses to play the victim by announcing your unhappiness with your current situation.  When you announce to the world that you’re unhappy, most people will ask themselves, “If he or she is so unhappy, why doesn’t he or she do something about it?” 

Think about it the next time you are asked the simple question, “How’s it going?”

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: www.CommonSenseGuy.com for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can

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