I was reminded recently of the comic strip character, Pig Pen from the strip Peanuts. He was the little kid that walked around with a cloud of dust surrounding him.
I worked with someone like that a few years go. Only it was not a cloud of dust. It was a cloud of anger. Where ever this man went his cloud of anger followed. He was so full of it that even after being on the phone with him there would be a cloud in the room hundreds of miles away.
He often wondered why his organization wasn’t getting the results he desired? I tried pointing out to him that all anyone knew about him was that he was angry:
- About the Power Point Deck
- About the marketing efforts
- About the sales approach
- About his partners
He is still pissed off about it all and his company is still trying to find its way. That will happen when he decides what he wants instead of what he’s pissed off at.
But the image of Pig Pen still is in my mind. We all walk around with a cloud of our emotions surrounding us. We are contagious. Whether it is the ability to read micro expressions or it is the electromagnetic vibrations that we all send out others pick up on the vibe. HeartMath has developed some interesting research on how individuals hearts actually entrain with each other.
As leaders of teams or ourselves we can manage this cloud of vibration. We can decide what energy, what feelings we want to bring into the room or conversation with us.
I recently walked into a meeting with some friends and colleagues. John quickly asked me if something was on my mind other than the upcoming meeting. – He could sense my distraction. Guess what your team, your lover, your customer can all feel yours as well.
We can manage and direct this … let’s call it an Attitude Cloud. Late last year I had a big meeting for a new contract. On my way to the meeting I caught the crazy talk in my head. And I remember saying to myself Oh S__t I need to get this attitude correct. I was really struggling because I know the subconscious way impressions are formed and I wanted to be in alignment with the goals of this upcoming meeting.
As I sat in the parking lot, I just took several deep breaths to center myself and got very clear on why I was here. I was to be present and in service.
The meeting went fabulously and the agreement is signed and we are off to the races.
Every day you are walking around with this attitude cloud. And, just like everyone who went near Pig Pen got covered in dirt; you spread you’re Attitude every were you go. You are contagious. What attitude do you want to spread?