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The Leader’s Attitude

Every person calling your agency deserves an excellent customer experience; and the attitude of the person answering the phone will set the course of each call in the right direction or not.  A definition of the word ‘Attitude’ is: a settled way of thinking or feeling about something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.  

Your attitude starts with thinking and feeling, and then is reflected outwardly in your behavior.  So it’s easy to see how our clients can have a good experience on a call when we feel great, and a bad experience when we’re distracted by pressures and feeling poorly.

There’s nothing better than someone who rises above their feelings and prepares for every interaction with an attitude that positively expects to find opportunity on every call.  In your agency, it’s actually an opportunity to change people’s lives as you protect them from very real risks!

The need to start the day with a great attitude applies to everyone in your agency, especially to every customer facing employee.  But the most important people that we can’t overlook as we pursue this goal are the one’s leading the charge. I’m talking about agency owners, executives, and managers.  

A vital piece of making sure your customers receive excellent service with a great attitude, is to make sure your team receives the same from leadership.  The attitude of leaders is paramount in an organization since it drives vision, goals, strategies, and the team’s belief in themselves to hone their skills and be their best for your clients.  A leader’s positive attitude in the workplace creates positive energy that will pass like a conduit from your team to your customers! How can the rest of your team be expected to embody these characteristics with customers all day, every day, on every call and with one another if their leaders are not onboard and modeling the same for them?

If you’re an agency owner or manager, you’re a leader, and you have an awesome responsibility.   Just like my children expect to see me modeling the behavior that I’m teaching and expecting to see in them, your team will respect and seek to follow the kind of leader who embodies this kind of integrity.  If you look closely at the word, ‘Integrity’, it contains the word ‘Integrate’. Ask yourself as a leader, am I integrating my expectations for others into my own life, or am I expecting others to receive training and coaching and accountability in new ways to serve our clients while I remain the same?

A leader with a great attitude is an incredible asset to an agency that has goals of constant improvement in the pursuit of even higher levels of success.  It was Zig Ziglar who said, “your attitude is more important than your aptitude”. Skill in running the details of your business and transferring that information to others is no substitute for having a great attitude—especially if you’re in charge of leading people!  Skills can be taught, but attitude is an important choice – a daily part of your personality that you put on before coming to the office each day. So what are some principles related to having a great attitude that you can implement today as a leader?

Choose a positive attitude

Be proactive, not reactive.  Typically our attitude follows our circumstances and our happiness is shaped by ‘happenings’ – the stuff that occurs each day, morning, or week that often sets the course of our reactions to others.  Ask yourself if your clients and team deserve to be recipients of your personal frustrations? If your frustrations are due to problems in the office, how can you choose a constructive attitude to help build, lead, teach, and encourage others toward your agency’s goals?  Determine each day to have a positive attitude that expects great things to happen, since it will empower your team as you lead them.

Have an attitude that looks for what your team does right

It’s easy to find things wrong with other people.  I’m sure you can think of numerous examples as you consider people in your family, workplace, neighborhood, and circle of friends.  It takes an altogether different mindset to be the kind of person who is looking to catch people doing things right and pointing them out.  When you start catching your team doing things right and you start talking about it, you’ll find them doing those same things even more and more each day!  The benefits don’t stop there. You’ll find your team more encouraged that you’re invested in their success, rather than looking to catch them in their failures.  You’ll find them trusting you more and developing deeper loyalty to a leader who cares about them. You’ll even find it impacting their personal attitude of support for one another as you encourage them by example to look for the good and successful contributions of their teammates.

Your great attitude does not need to ignore mistakes and bad behavior

You can’t ignore mistakes or bad behavior, but you can do something constructive, rather than reacting with punishment.  Just like a great sales call identifies a problem by showing its impact, presents a solution, and then asks for buy in, leaders can help their teams move toward success when they lead them through their failures.  When someone makes a mistake, ensure they receive correction and determine if they need further training. Then make sure they understand the solution, how to fix it themselves, and give them a chance to make it right.  

Check your attitude and make sure you’re communicating your goals clearly

Leaders can criticize poor performance before asking themselves if they’ve first set clear goals for the team.  Ask yourself if your team is clear on what they’re supposed to be doing. You can’t expect great behavior if your team doesn’t know what your expectations are.

Have an attitude that looks for performance and rewards good behavior

Are you too busy to see your team perform?  Catch someone doing something great and affirm the little things that are a vital part of your agency’s goal for a great customer experience.  It doesn’t happen enough. We stop to correct mistakes and react to bad behavior, but leaders don’t often take the time to recognize and reward good behavior when it happens.

Rewards don’t always need to be money.  Words of affirmation for a job well done go a long way toward improving morale, deepening team loyalty, and improving the attitudes of others. Take time to celebrate your team’s progress even when there isn’t perfection.  Let them know they have your trust and confidence, and watch it impact their attitude in a positive way.

A leader’s attitude is infectious

The attitude of a leader is infectious—and that can actually be a good thing or a bad thing!  How you think will greatly impact what you become. So a positive attitude brought to bear on your team will greatly impact the shape they will ultimately take under your influence.  Your attitude has the power to shape your team for the better or for the worse.

Oscar Wilde said, “Some cause happiness wherever they go.  Some cause happiness whenever they go.” Determine to be a leader who people want to be around—and who brings a great attitude and a higher level of performance out of your team!

Take action

One of the best things you can do to implement these recommendations in your life and agency is to reach out to us at Agency Performance Partners and request an Agency Assessment or check our calendar to see if any of our open Training Days work for you.   This vital agency check up will will take a deep dive into a variety of agency processes and metrics, and it will also help you see, hear and measure team attitudes as well as the attitudes that exist in leadership.  If there’s work to be done, we’re here to partner with you. Let’s start sooner rather than later. Call us today!

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