You Project Your Attitude to Others
Higher Position Projects Further
No matter what you’re doing, your demeanor and your attitude project onto other people. It’s the concept that one person with a bad attitude can bring down the whole group, or one bad apple spoils the bunch. What many don’t realize, however, is that the higher your position, the more influence and the stronger your projection will be.
If you’re in a leadership role, then you have to be especially careful about how you portray yourself to those you’re leading. Whether everything is going for you or against you, your attitude can cause huge ripples throughout your company, and you’re left wondering what happened.
Projecting Your Attitude onto Others
The way we influence with our attitude is easiest to see in children; our own children especially. Long before their minds are fully developed, they pick up on the cues that we are sending off.
How many of us have come home from work with a bad attitude that we disguise as best we can, only to find that our toddler age children start to act up? It isn’t that their day was terrible, or that something happened during their day. Instead, it’s because they’re receiving the attitude that you’re projecting, and turning it into their own.
But it goes beyond a toddler. As your children age, they become more sophisticated in adapting your attitude to their own. Have you ever complained loudly about something political? There’s a good chance that your older children have repeated it in their own social circle. Your attitude toward politics rubbed off on them.
This projection is magnified because you are in a position of influence, a leadership position, over your children. It doesn’t work as well with other peoples’ kids, nor does it work as well with your peers.
The Higher your Rank, the Stronger your Projection
John Maxwell says this about leadership: Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less. As you become a bigger and stronger leader, your influence grows. Not only does it grow in how effective you are with one person, but it also grows in how many people you influence.
Naturally, when you’re leading more and more people, and increasing your position of leadership, the attitude you project is going to have more and more of an impact. Fortunately, when we have small children at home, our projected attitude doesn’t last long; although the results are seen quickly. If you’re running a company, those results last much longer with deeper results.
Take for instance your attitude toward those who work for your company. Do you call them employees, or team members? Their job and their role is the same either way. But when you call them team members instead of employees, it changes the attitude. Instead of projecting an attitude of “you’re disposable, just an employee”, you now project an attitude of “you’re an indispensible part of this company, and without you we aren’t complete.”
If the decision to call employees team members comes from the top, it has power. If it comes from the bottom, it’s likely to never catch on.
Watch Your Attitude
We should all watch our attitudes no matter our rank; there’s always someone that we lead. But as you enhance your leadership skills, it becomes more and more important to make sure the attitude you’re projecting is one that is uplifting.