We’ve all heard the platitudes around the importance of attitude in our personal lives — and rightfully so. Few things have more direct correlation to our quality of life. But what deserves more attention is our attitude in our professional lives, particularly in business.
Attitude affects our ability to perform, make an impression, advance our careers and interact in a healthy way. We constantly reveal our attitude (both consciously and unconsciously).
Most aren’t aware of the importance these communications have on their professional trajectory.
Presumptions based on your attitude
The first thing your attitude tells people is how you feel about yourself. In a business setting, genuine confidence and an attitude of humility are important — not arrogance or cockiness, which only reveals weakness.
You need to demonstrate comfort in your ability to perform and lead, which includes on-the-fly issues. A calm, cool and collected disposition in the face of adversity is desirable and will be noticed by bosses, investors and partners alike.
Your attitude also reveals how you feel about others.
The last thing you want to communicate to customers, co-workers or management is that you don’t care, their opinion doesn’t matter or that you believe you’re more important. This happens with alarming regularity, which leads to brand erosion, resentment among colleagues and friction with management.
Change the perception
So, how do you make strides in this department? Here are five attitude tips, especially as it relates to interactions with others:
- Be authentic and genuine. Data shows the market responds to authenticity. You won’t connect with consumers in this day and age without it.
Wonder why big corporations continue to lose market share, lay off employees and fail to appeal to younger demographics? The world is calling b.s. on the same old marketing and advertising tactics, in lieu of an approach that engages the market in an authentic way.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Consumers, clients and employees aren’t interested in a superficial 1980s mentality, a facade or constant poker face. They don’t want a front. People want the genuine article.
- Be someone who celebrates others’ success. Nobody likes (or respects) a hater. Jealousy is extremely unbecoming — not to mention, obvious.
- Mentor the next generation. Don’t work against them. I wish I could say attitude naturally improves with age and wisdom. But I’ve encountered business people with 30-year careers who have worse attitudes than the proverbial cocky 20-something ready to climb the ladder.
The next time a youngster asks your advice, freely give it — and not in an “in my day” lecture. The old guard has a responsibility to the next generation.
- Treat others with kindness and respect. This is the universal sign of a healthy attitude that employees, consumers, stakeholders and everyone in-between will recognize and revere.
Understanding the importance of attitude and always trying to improve it is key to success in business — and in life. People look for attitude; it’s much easier to recognize than anything you say. Embrace it.
Luke Westerman is the Chairman and CEO of Solomon Global Holdings. Luke is a Wall Street investor turned venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He actively invests in and advises dynamic startups through his companies Solomon Global Holdings and Endeavor Forward.