What if You Smelled Like Your Attitude
When someone has a bad attitude, we say their attitude stinks. What if you literally smelled like a skunk when you had a bad attitude?
Ellysan, one of our granddaughters, couldn’t pronounce skunk. When we had one in the back yard she called it a “stunk.” I like her name better than the real one.
What if someone moaned, “What stinks,” when you show up at work today?
ABC’s of attitude.
Affective: Statements about feelings. “I don’t like my boss.”
Behavior intentions: Statements about intentions. “I’m looking for a new job.”
Cognition: Statements about beliefs. “My boss is incompetent.”
You have an attitude about authority, foreigners, teammates, starting meetings on time, failure, and laziness based on upbringing and experiences.
You have an attitude about life.
Attitudes are learned dispositions.
Attitudes control actions.
One person crosses their arms and frowns, the other smiles and steps forward. The difference is attitude.
Nothing pleases a person with a bad attitude.
Choose your attitude.
Resentment, negativity, pessimism, and complaining make you stink like a ‘stunk’.
Confidence, optimism, openness, interested, and curious make you fragrant like roses.
Here’s a list of 160 attitudes.
People respond to your attitude.
When you smell like garbage people pull away.
When you smell like fresh baked bread they want more.
What three words describe your attitude right now.
What three words describe the attitude you desire.
Choose your attitude.
Forgiveness: The Invisible Derailer that Frustrates Leaders
I think of it’s helpful to think of a person’s attitude falling somewhere along a continuum such as:
Thanks Paul. You provide an approach that allows for self-assessment. Very useful.
When asked how I am, I always reply “Excellent”. Even if I am not. It’s my daily reminder to be positive and upbeat when dealing with others.
Thanks Jennifer. I can see where telling people we’re struggling has it’s value. Certain people. Under certain circumstances.
If we choose our attitude then sometimes we wait for reality to align with aspiration.
I really enjoyed today’s article. I was reflecting on it and it occurred to me that in order to know that you “stink” you have to recognize that your odor is offensive to others. I’ve found that people with a stinky attitude, don’t even smell it. They just assume that the smell is normal.
Dan … what a great post and title. Really hits the mail on the head with a very simple, but profound, message.
Wow Dan…might be the best mental model to bring awareness to and positive change in mindset at any moment. Keep up the great work.
This is so true. My wife and I taught our children to choose to be happy. If they could not be pleasant, they were to leave the room. Our daughter learned to take herself to her room in order to adjust her attitude, then she’d come back when ready. Real maturity in that one. My other children? Eh, not so much….
While I like the message, I would caution that your daughter does not learn to suppress emotions.
Such a great question and it causes you to self-reflect. It also made me think about other things that you could place a smell, for example “effort”. What does your effort smell like? Would your company send you home for violating some sort of hygiene policy?
I had an old boss who I would consider a sage. He would say, “if you get into a pissing match with a skunk, you’re gonna get stinky”. He would also say, and you’ll probably have heard this because of your farming background: “you gotta get real close to an ornery cow when you’re milking her if you don’t wanna get kicked” In both analogies, he illustrated very well how much our attitude can rub off on the people we associate with. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with that interaction. Whatever taste(smell if you will) you leave in someone’s mouth by how you treat them will absolutely be “spit” on the next sympathetic ear and so the stink spreads…..
“Nothing pleases a person with a bad attitude.” True for them and true for me : /