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May, 2011

  1. Fresh Courage Take

    May 6, 2011 by Ryan

    My boss was overwhelmed with big projects and needed to write the motivational message for the support-department monthly newsletter. I saw his need and ghost-wrote this for him. Presented here is the second-draft version, created after he sat with me for 10 minutes and asked if I approved a few minor edits. Then, in his hurry, he forwarded the first draft on to the editor anyway, and it was published.  Yes, this feels like a cheesy motivational message (because it is!), and I am slightly embarrassed to reread it.

    Have you ever went to a large store and stood in line at the “returns” counter? Go take a place in the back of the line. Observe the people in front of you, and the attitudes they convey. Often, the employees are “beaten down” from the constant stream of negative energy put off by their customers. They move slowly; they don’t smile; and they seem disinterested. Never do they have someone wait in line, and when they reach the counter, exclaim “The things that I purchased here at your store are working great! I have no issues, and I’m enjoying them tremendously! Thank you for selling quality products and providing exceptional service!”

    Being in a support position carries much of the same mental risks. Taking phone calls from customers who generally are not happy with the product can take a toll on support agents, who might begin to change their attitudes so that they only see the “wrongs” in the world. They risk becoming like gloomy old Eeyore of the Winnie the Pooh stories, who always fails to see the good things going on around him.

    To counter this potential workplace hazard, each technician must find ways to take fresh courage. The antidote will be a little different for each person. Find ways to continue to smile. Mentally always seek ways to count your blessings and always stay alert to the good things – to the people you enjoy working with, or to the exciting features of the software that work very well.

    True is the axiom “There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself”1 You always have a choice about the attitude you retain. Your attitude is contagious. Your coworkers will catch it. Your customers will feel it.

    1 “Fish!: a remarkable way to boost morale and improve results”; page 37; Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen.