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Good to Great… Attitude

by Randall Craig on July 13, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational,

Tagged as: ,

We all know that having a great attitude is important, but what if you have always seen the glass as half empty? Is it possible to learn to see it half full? The answer, thankfully, is yes. Read on for ten tips that can turn around a bad attitude, or turn a good one into great:

1) Be intentional: Specifically commit to yourself that you will work on a better attitude. If you don’t do this, no motivational speaker, inspirational tipsheet, or coaching can help.

2) Set meta-objectives: For those tasks (or people) who you’re not keen on, set positive objectives over-and-above the task at hand. For example, if you don’t enjoy working with someone, set a meta-objective to discover, while working with them, one thing that they do better than anyone else.

3) Focus on the positive: Each situation that you find yourself in has two sides. As soon as you see a half-empty glass, immediately stop and identify how, and why, it’s half full.

4) Fly with the eagles: Or rather, fly away from the whiners and complainers. Over time, you will adopt the attitudes of those around you; it is far healthier for you to be around upbeat, positive people. If you want to be an eagle, start flying with them.

5) Become a teacher: We each are models for others; if you notice that these others have bad attitudes, then hold up the mirror and consider who they learned it from. Become a great role model, and you’ll find others will become one too.

6) Be authentic: Having a pollyanna attitude of “everything is perfect” is inauthentic, unrealistic, and unhelpful. Instead of pretending that everything is fine, since often it isn’t, focus instead on developing a healthy and positive reaction to your surroundings.

7) Enlist the support of those around you: Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to let you know when your attitude is not good. Sometimes people just aren’t aware of when they slip into “the bad”.

8) Move on: People who find themselves in a toxic environment (a bully boss at work or an abusive spouse at home) often use their attitude as a defense mechanism. In these cases, the best way to repair your attitude is to permanently extract yourself from the environment as soon as possible.

9) Cognitive Restructuring: Whenever we are faced with stress, our emotional response sometimes has an undue impact on our attitude. Cognitive restructuring is a technique where we rationally examine our thoughts, and “reframe” how we think. For example, when you are under stress, ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen… and can I deal with it?” When your mind has processed the answer and can think more rationally, your attitude may also be more rational.

10) Have fun: Too often, our bad attitudes are caused by an imbalance between fun and not-fun activities. (So spend time doing more fun activities.)

This week’s action plan: The better our attitude, the more we attract others of like mind. The worse our attitude, the more we attract others of like mind. This week, consider those around you: have you attracted good people, or just people with bad attitudes? Do you think you’ve attracted the “best”? If you’re not happy with the answer, then the solution is already within you: change your attitude from bad, to good, to great.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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That’s a Great Idea

by Randall Craig on September 25, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

How do you get your network to really help?

At a recent dinner I was taught a fascinating networking lesson, from a most unexpected source. At a certain point in time, the discussion turned to the subject jobs, and how one person should get one. People kept “suggesting” that to be successful, this person should sign up for a particular course, join a team, join an association, apply for a job here or there, and so on. The flow of suggestions was not asked for, and seemed unending. Most people would become defensive if this happened to them.

Here is the surprise: the target of the suggestions was a 15 year-old. If you know anything about teenagers, they typically aren’t too interested in taking advice from anyone – especially certain adult authority figures. In this case, however, the teen responded to each suggestion with a different phrase:

  • That’s a great idea;
  • I’ll consider that;
  • That’s something I should remember;
  • I hadn’t thought of that;
  • I’m not sure, but I can try;
  • Thanks.

Did the teenager really appreciate the advice, or did he just want to avoid being rude? It didn’t matter: he was able to make everyone feel good about helping him out. If he shut down the suggestions, then few would be willing to help later. By answering as he did, he stored the ideas for future consideration – and did so without commitment.

If there is still a teenager in you, what type are you? One who shuts down help, or one who is open to it? Teenagers grow up, some earlier than others.

This week’s action item: Having an attitude that accepts others’ ideas – and doesn’t shut down initiative – is what encourages your network to work on your behalf. This week, keep your eye out for any “helpful” suggestions from your colleagues, manager, staff, and even your family: instead of saying no, try the above phrases. (And if you’re not sure about this Tip, just say “That’s something I should remember”.)

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Career Paradise

by Randall Craig March 6, 2007

Thinking about the joys of winter? Who enjoys the extreme cold, the slush, the transit delays, and the extra bother of winter clothing? On the other hand, the summer has its problems too: broken air conditioners (if you have one, that is), sunburn, mosquitoes, lawn maintenance, and fitting into that “shrunken” bathing suit. It seems […]

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Making Great Coffee

by Randall Craig July 11, 2006

Not every work day is a great day. Your boss is pressuring you about a deadline. Your co-workers aren’t doing their share of the work. Your staff aren’t doing their normal bang-on job. And of course, you forgot to bring change for your morning Starbucks, which means that you are stuck with the yucky stuff […]

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