Why Attitude Often Drives Performance

Many factors drive and support the effective performance of an Employee Team Member: overall competence for the work required; prior background and experience; belief in the project or job required; personal upbringing; drive, determination and motivation; personal pride etc. While these and many other factors definitely factor into the equation, one is universal in its affect on performance everywhere, in every industry…Attitude.

Personal Attitude is one of the major driving forces that ultimately drives the personal performance of everyone both as an individual and as a member of a team. Because Attitude is often lumped in with Motivation, it is often seen as a “soft skill” and overlooked by many. Overlooked maybe, but not often overcome.

Attitude, both positive and negative, is a choice. Some just consistently choose one that is negative and detrimental to the Team’s Performance and its Structure. This is often difficult to overcome for many factors. As we grew up hearing most of our lives, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch” became a popular phrase for a very simple reason. It’s true. So true, that now when the phrase is heard, we often dismiss it or overlook it. We shouldn’t, though we will.

The negative impact of a negative attitude of the performance of the group is hard to ignore. It quickly brings down morale and motivation of the non offending Team Members, while drastically slowing down or completely diminishing performance. To overcome this takes a tightly cohesive group, but more influence comes directly from the Supervisor, Manager or Leader that oversees the Group on a daily basis. It is their responsibility to manage the developments of this process and lead and steer the Team Members to clear waters and out of the turbulence of the negativity present.

Conversely, the positive influence and creativity that emanates from the energy, enthusiasm and excitement of a positive person brings to the Team is hard to ignore as well. The impact is felt throughout the group, as long as it’s genuine and not over the top. A sincere and true positive attitude influences and inspires other team Members. It too is equally as contagious and should not be shied away from.

For too many years people have thought of a Positive Attitude as something obtained through others or from the traditional Motivational Speaker. It also comes from two much more tangible sources: from the individual themselves; or other Team Members. Generate and cultivate as many Positive Team Members you can. It’s good for you and your business.

There are many factors that figure into the success of a great management team, but one that is unavoidable is developing and securing the existence of Employee Engagement. Whether it is from the internal side or the customer and client side, the more the employee team is fully engaged in the process, the more effective they and the effect of the relationships they develop will be.

Employee Engagement may be easy to understand, but it does take time and commitment to implement. The variables are rather straight forward: people need and want to be involved in the process; they want to have a voice and say on things; they want and need to be heard: they want input into the decision making process, even if a different decision is made; etc. Many times supervisors and managers know the best route to take and decision to make, so they just quickly move ahead and jump into the process. They then expect everyone to quickly jump on board and step in line, and often don’t understand when they meet resistance and pushback.

Again, the supervisor or manager saw their decision quickly and swiftly, so they do not understand when their team doesn’t immediately follow. Often times they do come around to the new idea or concept eventually, but often much time and anguish is experienced along the way. Time that could be spent in a much more productive and efficient way can never be regained or restored.

If employing the concept of Employee Engagement is key and without it the process of frustration and keeps repeating itself, why would a supervisor or manager not be quick to correct the process? One major factor is time, or their perceived lack of it. They often feel that taking the time to explain things and the reason a certain process is chosen over another is too time consuming, so why bother?

Another is the assumption that their staff would already know and understand their thought process, so again, why bother?

In both cases, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, in both cases, and many others that probably could come to mind, the investment of time is far greater by not taking the time upfront to explain a decision or initially not walking people through the logistics of the process, than the time to talk, teach and explain after the job has already begun. When it comes to Employee Engagement, more, not less, is far more beneficial.

People are often promoted into their first role as a supervisor or manager because they have developed certain skill sets and shown that they can effectively carry out their role and do their job in a proficient manner. As their reward, they are given more responsibility and asked to manage a group of people and expected to get them to also carry out their job in a proficient manner. For some this is the start of a great and rewarding career. For most, it is the beginning of a long road of frustration and the feeling as if they are nothing more than a highly paid baby sitter.

What sends one person down one road and one down the other, and what can we do to avoid the road of frustration and stay on the road of reward for the people that work with us and for us?

The fallacy that people are either natural born leaders or they aren’t has caused frustration and trouble for many organizations. Are some people more charismatic and naturally comfortable talking and interacting with people than others? Of course they are, but that doesn’t guarantee them being effective as a supervisor or manager anymore than anything else will.

One thing that will help them is Leadership/Management Training and Development. Just as people have to be trained and learn the ways of your business and its product and services, managers and supervisors will benefit from learning the fundamentals and nuances of supervising, managing and leading groups or departments of people.

The natural course of action for most in their role as a supervisor or manager, whether they are a new or have been doing it for 30 years, is to tell others what to do, how to do it, and then expect people to just do it that way. Nothing could be further from the truth. That style of management or leadership didn’t effectively work 40 years ago and it certainly isn’t that effective today.

People today have much higher expectations of how they expect to be treated in the workplace, and customers certainly have higher expectations of what and how someone does business with them. Together, that puts a much greater emphasis on the requirements of your supervisory, management and leadership staff to create the way of doing business to represent your organization.

While much of this is integrated into our daily activities, a foundation is needed, and that foundation is found in the form of responsible Leadership Management Training.

Ask just about anyone, and most will tell you that Customer Service isn’t what it used to be. Some will say it’s a lost art. While others will tell you it’s completely dead all together. Few however will tell you that most companies or organizations couldn’t use some help in this area.

The question is, would most people say that about your company or organization?

Only you can answer that, but if we are being completely honest, most of us would have to answer yes. The benefits for spending the time and making the investment in Customer Service Training far outweigh the cost. Unless your product or service is the only one of its kind in the world and the demand is so huge that you couldn’t handle any more business even if you wanted to, then service is important. It’s important to you, but more importantly, it’s important to your Customers. Being important to your Customer now make it extremely important to you.

In today’s marketplace, there are few things more common than choice, and your Customers have many. Choosing to continue to do business with you, or to leave and go to a competitor, often is determined by the way they are treated or how they perceive they are treated. If they don’t feel important, valued or respected, they will simply take their business with them and go somewhere else.
If we view Sales as what drives the revenue side of our business, then we should view Service as what protects and keeps that revenue on the books. If we don’t take care of our Customers, someone else will, and they will be happy to do so. The problem is that Customers often don’t tell us that they are leaving. They simply leave and we find out after the fact. If the time and attention were spent on keeping Customers that is spent on getting them back, then we would have never lost them in the first place.

Customer Service Training, just like Sales Training, should be viewed as an investment in the business versus and expense line item on the balance sheet. Customers treated well tend to stay, spend more, tell their friends and colleagues to do business with you and help drive your bottom line. Customers treated poorly often make like difficult while they are with us, cost us time and money before they leave, and then they end up leaving anyway.

Protect your business and your revenues and invest in Service.

Your sales force is the life-line of the revenue generating side of your business. Their effectiveness is critical to sales, and those sales are critical to the overall well being of the organization. With that in mind, having a sales force that is properly trained is vital in any economy, let alone a difficult one.
Your Sales Team is the face and voice of your organization. Their ability to tell your story, and represent the company in the manner you desire does not happen by chance. Product training is prevalent in most organizations, but product training is not sales training. Your product or service may sell itself in a strong economy, but that alone won’t work in a difficult economy. In a difficult economy, you need more.

Much more…

True sales training allows your Team to get back to the fundamentals of selling. Product training, which is what most sales training inside most organizations really is, puts the focus on the features of your product. Sales training will put that focus on the benefits of that product. Your customer doesn’t care what your product or your service will do. They care what it will do for them. Sales training puts the focus back where it belongs. That focus needs to be on your customer, their problems, and how your product or service can and will fix those problems.

We are all looking for more ways to generate new revenues, and fewer things will directly impact revenues more quickly than effectively training your sales force. New sales people need the fundamentals to properly do their job. Experienced sales people need to be reminded of these fundamentals as those seem to slip away over time. It happens to everyone, and when it does, it will cost you sales dollars. Dollars you can’t afford to lose.

Sales training is done yearly in most organizations, quarterly in some, and monthly or weekly in the best. Once it’s ingrained in a true sales organization it simply becomes part of the culture. True sales people are always striving to improve and welcome training. Average sales people tolerate it, and it shows in their performance. The sales people who think they know it all and don’t need it and can’t benefit from it cause everyone problems, including your customers.

When you see Sales Training as an investment rather than an expense, your Sales Team will follow, and so will the benefits to you, your organization, and your revenue stream.

No matter where you live or what you do, once you step out in the marketplace to purchase any product or service, most of us will find there has been a serious decline in the understanding, delivery, or even the concept of Customer Service. Many would lead you to believe that Customer Service has not just declined, but that it has died all together.

Is Customer Service dead? No, in most cases it has simply just been severely misplaced and overlooked. If Customer Service were truly dead, it wouldn’t and couldn’t be found anywhere. Again, in normal everyday life, it may seem that way, but it does still exist.

From high end country clubs and hotels, to locally owned restaurants, taverns and bars, and everything in between, True Customer Service does still exist. If it is still out there, why is it so hard to find? The answer may initially surprise you, and then again, it may be painfully obvious.

The simple answer is that Customer Service is a Leadership issue, not a Service issue.

Think about it. You can go to twenty different places in the same city and find little, terrible or nonexistent Service. Then in the exact same city you can absolutely be blown away by the best Customer Service you have ever seen.

How can that be? Where is the logic in that? Twenty places seemed to have never heard of the concept of Customer Service, and then one place, on the same block, you want to just throw your money at them because their Service is so good.

While there are many reasons (training is a major one) the fundamental difference between these establishments is that at the twenty places where it didn’t exist, it wasn’t asked for, expected or demanded of the staff by management, so it didn’t exist. At the one place where the Service was outstanding, it not only was asked for, expected and demanded by management, it was simply who they were and what they did. They couldn’t imagine opening their doors and have contact without their customers without it?

Too simple of an answer? No, sometimes things are just that simple. The one place that delivered Great Customer Service recruited and hired people from the same neighborhoods and areas as the twenty where Customer Service was completely non-existent. The only difference was the expectation of management and what was consider acceptable behavior at the twenty places was simply not acceptable at the one.

Your Company or Organization has been in business for years. While there is always room for improvement, things are actually pretty good, considering the recent economic environment.

Why in the world then would you need to bring someone in from the outside to speak to your Team?

Why would you need someone else to deliver training when you have always done it internally?

Simply put, a different set of eyes, different set of ears and a different voice often will bring a different set of results.

Most people, companies and organizations have found it beneficial to bring someone in from the outside to deliver training of many types: Leadership/Management; Customer Service; Sales etc. Similar organizations often bring in an outside Professional Speaker to speak at their Conference or Management Meetings.


Most have found that by using an outside Speaker, Trainer or Consultant that their people open up to them in a way that they wouldn’t with someone from inside the organization. This often happens with the boss, manager or direct supervisor sitting right there in the room. By simply framing questions in a different way, or presenting ideas and materials that have been spoken of before but are now presented in a different way by someone from outside the company, those questions and insights bring different answers and results.

Another factor is that outside Speaker, Trainer or Consultant, assuming they are good at what they do, have honed their skill sets in a way that those inside a company simply could not have the time or energy to do. They have their job to do inside their organization, and often Training or Speaking is not part of who they are or what they do. And quite frankly, it shouldn’t be.

A Professional Speaker or Trainer should actively engage your people to see things in a different way, and therefore, think about things in a different way. The much maligned, and appropriately so, term to think outside the box actually is relevant here. While it has been used and abused over the years to the point that people will roll their eyes today upon hearing it, it can have substantial value when actually carried out.

So just as professional athletes have coaches and use them to enhance their performance, Companies and their Employee Teams often benefit from an outside perspective to get them back on track or to take them to the next level of their performance standards as well.

We’ve all been in the audience as the Keynote Speaker is about to be introduced. Having experienced this before, we know what to expect, so we relax, sit back and wonder how their presentation will unfold.

Will they be entertaining? Will they be insightful? Will they be relevant to our Business or Association? Will I stay awake and engaged or will I quickly lose interest? These and many questions run through our mind along with everyone who is assembled in the room, but there is one thing that most we all know for sure. The Keynote Speaker is there to speak, and we are there to listen. Everyone knows their role as we settle in
But what if our role was different? What if the Keynote Speaker actually involved the audience and used that time as an interactive tool to get everyone to not only think through the subject matter, but talk about it as well. What if everyone in the audience were part of the process and interacted with those that were seated near them?

They then would about to be able to experience firsthand the benefits of an Interactive Keynote.

Whoever decided that a Keynote should be a one way dialogue? The Keynote Sets the Tone for your entire Conference. The more your Members and Employee Teams interact and engage in the topics presented, the more they will retain.

An Interactive Keynote provides the groundwork that they will be active participants in all of the programs presented throughout the Conference. It creates enthusiasm and excitement in the opening hour that will carry throughout the upcoming events and agenda items. It makes the conference more about your Members and Employee Teams and less about who is leading the workshop they are attending.

The more engaged everyone is throughout your Conference, the more meaningful it is for them. Just as we know people want to be a part of the process and in on things in their own place of business, the same holds true as they mingle with their friends and colleagues at your Conference.

Ensure at your next event that your Keynote Speaker inspires people to be part of the meeting rather than simply attending it. While there are many ways to accomplish this, one will get it started quicker than any other.

Go beyond the traditional Speaker and Kick your next Conference off with an Interactive Keynote Speaker. You and your attending Team Members will be glad you did.

As a Meeting Planner, much time, thought and attention is given to you and your Team as you go through the selection process in search of your Keynote Speaker for your upcoming Conference. Certainly a Professional Speaker is needed, and much is expected as well. Once that selection is made, a deep sigh of relief and excitement occurs as the contracts are signed.

As you go through the process as you select Professional Speakers for your Break-Out Sessions, much time, thought and consideration is needed here as well. Often, your Break-Out Speakers can determine whether your attendees find the Conference a worthwhile investment of their time, or if the Conference was little more than a nice diversion from their day-to-day activities.

The Break-Out Sessions, and the Speakers you select for them, are where your attending Team Members roll up their sleeves so to speak. This is where they can delve into the material presented and the thoughts offered up for discussion. This is where they can interact and learn from their colleagues and get real tangibles results to the problems they face and can take back to their office or territory to implement as soon as they get back home.

If the right Break-Out Speaker is selected for that Break-Out Session, that is.

The opportunity for your attending Members or Employee Teams to share their knowledge, experience and ideas in a professional setting is invaluable. To share and learn from that experience, your Break-Out Session must be interactive and lead by a Speaker who will not only allow that process to unfold, but also to thrive.

Few Speakers will create that Environment of Engagement. Most will run a lecture format where they feel like the workshop and its content is all about them. Most will feel that since they are running the workshop, that they are the star and the center of attention.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Members and Employee Teams come to your meeting to learn, and primarily learn from each other. They want real life answers to real life issues, and those answers will most often come from your Members and your Employee Teams, not from the Speaker in the front of the room.

To ensure that your Break-Out Sessions deliver their biggest bang for the buck, be sure to hire a Speaker that will allow that to happen. You and your Team Members will benefit long after your event has come to a successful conclusion.

Your next event is coming up soon. You have the location, the hotel, the agenda, every last detail has been planned… even the flight schedules have fallen in place. What you need now is the right Speaker for the event.

The question is, how do you find the right one?

Whether your next event is your Association’s National/International Conference, or your Company’s Yearly Meeting, finding the right Professional Speaker is critical to the success of the event. Find the right one, and you look like a hero. Select the wrong one and it can be a long flight home for you, your executive team and your assembled group.

Your Keynote Speaker sets the tone for the entire event. Do you want a “name” Speaker, and does your budget allow it? If yes, then your decision becomes much more manageable. For most meetings, companies and associations, the budget doesn’t allow for a famous, well known Speaker.

So what then?

Picking the right Speaker is like picking the right company to go to work for. First and foremost, they must fit the Culture of Your Organization. If they don’t fit the personality of your group, they will have little or no effect. Just as your Speaker has a certain personality and style, so does your Group. Make sure they fit and your Meeting is off to a great start.

Next, make sure their Content is relevant and will challenge and expand your Group’s way of thinking. While it’s nice if your Keynote Speaker is entertaining, what your Group really wants is to feel challenged, inspired and motivated to see things in a different way so they can do things in a different way. They have come to your Meeting or Conference to learn and find ways to improve the way they do business. Whether they are members of the old guard or are fresh new hires, everyone wants to learn new ideas and gain different perspectives. Whether they’ll admit to that or not may be another story.

Give them Great Content, and they will give you great reviews.

Finally, Great Content needs Great Delivery. Remember the professors we had in college that knew their material, but their delivery left much to be desired? In college we didn’t have a choice. We had to sit through it. Your audience expects and demands much more. Great Content isn’t enough…Great Delivery is Key.

If your Keynote Speaker can give you Great Content and Great Delivery, then you have a Great Hire.

Re-Think. Re-Frame. Re-Focus.