Vail Daily column: The attitude of gratitude
Attitude is everything.
Your attitude at work likely plays a large part in your performance review every year. Your attitude outside work likely plays a role in determining how successful your relationships are with friends and family. Your attitude with your customers likely contributes to the success of your business.
The “attitude of gratitude” (a term credited to Darryl Bangert at Sage Outdoor Adventures) encompasses many of us fortunate enough to live, work and play in Eagle County. What a great term to connect our increasingly interconnected lives: Attitude being the way we conduct ourselves and gratitude being a sense of thankfulness.
Attitude of gratitude has a nice ring to it. After all, attitude is everything.
Consider the way people perceive you; it’s often based on your attitude. Attitude matters.
This explains why it is human nature to hate calling a customer service line — because you don’t actually expect to receive service. It is assumed that you’ll find someone on the other end of the line that is disengaged and possibly even incentivized to handle as many calls as possible in a day, encouraging them not to solve your problem, but rather move you though the queue as quickly as possible in order to take the next call.
I recently had to contact Comcast due to an issue with my cable. The first two people I talked to were unable to solve the problem, but the third person … wow, service personified. Instead of displaying a defeatist attitude about not getting our cable box to work like the first two people did, he chose to approach the problem with a problem solving attitude by saying, “Don’t worry, I appreciate a challenge, and we’ll get this figured out. Normal service calls are boring anyway.” Not surprisingly, he was able to eventually solve our service issue and kept me engaged in the process the entire time. Not an easy task for someone in a call center in Houston taking care of customer problems from folks around the country.
That’s the type of attitude that succeeds, regardless of job title or if customer service is part of your job (which it is — for all of us).
On the flip side of the spectrum, we all know a Debbie Downer. We’ve all worked with the person that takes the energy out of the room, just like the Debbie Downer character from “Saturday Night Live.” The theme song to this skit stated “You’re enjoying your day, everything’s going your way, when along comes Debbie Downer. Always there to tell you ‘bout a new disease, a car accident or killer bees. You beg her to spare you, ‘Debbie, please!’ but you can’t stop Debbie Downer!”
This is the person who sees the negative and who constantly reinforces the problems inherent in every situation. This person complains about everything. And then they complain some more. From their job to their boss to how life isn’t fair, it’s non-stop and demoralizing to those around them and even more so to customers and clients.
Embrace an attitude of gratitude and look at opportunities instead of looking for problems. Find a solution instead of complaining about the situation. Focus your energy on what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. If you put your problems in a pile with everybody else’s, most of us would simply reach back in and take your own.
In a team atmosphere (and in a workplace), someone with a positive attitude can overcome many weaknesses because this person adds energy and vibrancy, seeking to solve problems and be an advocate for their business and their customers instead of draining energy by focusing on problems.
This teammate, via their positive attitude, often turns thoughts into action, allowing the organization to maximize the opportunities and benefits available to us all in the Vail Valley.
What’s this mean? Be thankful for living, working and playing in this place we call home — and bring an attitude of gratitude to work and play. Those Debbie Downers can choose to see the world differently, and you can make a huge difference on your workplace and with your customers.
Gratitude is important. Display an attitude of gratitude and chances are people will be grateful to have you as a client or employer or employee.
And as the summer season is upon us, it’s something to keep in mind.
Chris Romer is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.