The phrase M.O. is short for the Latin term modus operandi. This essentially refers to a person’s habitual or standard mode or method of operation. We all have an M.O. that is reflected everyday by our attitude. Attitude is a reflection of how you operate and how you react. It influences whether or not people want to work with you, want to do business with you, want to promote you, or even hire you in the first place. It tells the world who you are and how you approach life—especially adversity.
If you are truly a positive person, then it will show in your conversations with others. The effect of what you think is cumulative; it deposits itself in every aspect of your personality. How you walk, smile, nod your head instead of shake it, instinctively reach out to shake hands with someone or even embrace them; positivity can’t hide.
Neither, of course, can negativity. Have you ever met someone who has something negative to say about everyone and everything? They always see the glass as half empty, they always think there is a conspiracy, and they always expect the worst. You know at all times what that person thinks because of what they say and how they say it. You can literally feel their negativity coming off of them in waves; it permeates in the way they shuffle instead of bound, grimace instead of smile, slump instead of sit up. Ask yourself: Is this the image I want to portray?
Like a signature scent, your attitude either emits an appealing fragrance, or, well… it stinks! For decades minority professionals have been underestimated as business leaders because of antiquated stereotypes about having a poor attitude.
In business, being a class act never hurts. Never! You can be assertive without being aggressive, passionate without being pushy and commanding without being conceited. Likewise, you can express your insight without insult, critique without criticizing, and demand without demeaning. I think, well… I know it can be a hard balance to find.
As my mother always said, your exit will be remembered longer than your entrance. It is important to adjust (and sometimes re-adjust) our attitude so that it is in line with our short-term and long-term objectives. Our objectives should be to get the best out of life, the best out of ourselves, and the best out of others.
Attitude, when coupled with hard work, makes that possible. We cannot control most of what happens in life. We can only control ourselves, our disposition, our reaction, and our attitude. Where you go in life—along with when and how you get there—will be determined largely by attitude. In business, attitude will always increase or decrease your odds of success. Having a can-do-must-do-will-do attitude will win business and advance your standing in the marketplace.
It’s your turn now. What attitude do’s and don’ts have you experienced in the workplace? I look forward to hearing from you!
Marshawn Evans is president of ME Unlimited L.L.C. and a weekly career advice columnist for BlackEnteprise.com.
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