Why Positive Attitudes Are Critical And How Do You Change Them When They Aren’t! (Part 1)

We’ve all experienced the situation. We go into a store with the simple purpose of buying something and come out reeling from an encounter with a store assistant in which we’ve felt like an unwanted intrusion.

Most of the time we don’t say anything and sometimes we go back because the store is convenient for us but, boy, if we had a choice we wouldn’t!

We all have attitudes and feelings. Sometimes we feel good, sometimes we feel bad. But the truth is, if you are in a service role, particularly one in which you deal face-to-face with customers, you cannot afford to simply act out your feelings. There’s only one attitude that works in a service role and that’s a positive one, an attitude that communicates to customers “I like working here,” “I like serving customers,” “You are my main focus.”

I’m not saying it’s easy to maintain a positive attitude with all that is thrown at us in a busy day on the shop floor. However, it’s critical we maintain our positive attitude with customers. Working in a fun team with a store manager who is supportive makes a huge difference

What makes matters worse though, is when the person with the negative attitude is the store manager. How can we expect the team to have a positive attitude if the manager doesn’t?

If the manager comes in with a bad attitude it spreads like wildfire. Within minutes, everyone is down. So, it’s critical the manager has a positive attitude, even if he or she doesn’t feel like it. I love the saying “You can’t expect your team to listen to your advice but ignore your example.”

Attitude and the link to behaviour

There’s one question I’m asked more often than any other: “How do I fix someone’s bad attitude?”

I usually offer two points in response. First, I acknowledge the reality of the challenge the questioner is dealing with. Attitudes can be hard to change; in fact, any change has to come from the person themself. Secondly, I have the questioner focus on behaviours, rather than attitude. No team member is going to be open to feedback about their poor attitude.

The key here is though, a poor attitude will play out in poor behaviours being exhibited by the team member. In next week’s blog, I’ll go through how to fix this issue by dealing directly with the behaviour.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.