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Succeeding as a Service Advisor

It’s All in the Attitude and Your Choices

By: Paula Bliss

It All Begins Here

“Don’t give me that attitude!”  Ever heard that?  Or, “You need an attitude adjustment.” I can’t count the number of times someone has spoken these words to me, and they quite obviously refer to a bad or negative, attitude.  The perception of someone having a negative attitude in the workplace can be detrimental. 

Succeeding as a Service Advisor (and in life in general) is largely determined by how others perceive you in your personal interactions with them.  Most of us are simply one of many and to achieve what people regard as “success” means trying to please most of the people most of the time.  Not doing so usually results in being labeled a failure or even a rebel or outcast.  This brings with it a negative attitude and all the unhappiness that society can unleash.  In our culture, we expect many different things to create “warm and fuzzy feelings” from others and it can get very demanding, especially as a service advisor.  Most people expect some the following personal characteristics and qualities from others, and especially from those serving others:

  • Is trustworthy, honest
  • Caring of others
  • A good listener
  • A top performer
  • A healthy skepticism, not cynicism
  • Has Integrity, do what you say you’ll do

What others desire comes from a way of thinking, and it all begins with a person’s attitude!

It’s Your Choice

It’s a proven fact that the wrong attitude is the main basis of failure, unhappiness and involuntary employee terminations.  In the service department, all the experience, training, coaching, supervision and even pay plans are worthless without the right attitude.  More people find themselves in an unhappy job because of the wrong attitude than for any other reason.  This is a shame, because everyone has the power to have a positive attitude.  Attitude is a CHOICE people make.

Attitude comes from within a person.  No one person can give another attitude.  People make choices every day to be positive or negative in response to the challenges that work life presents.  Attitude is really the only thing over which we, ourselves, have complete and total control.  As humans, we have the power to make choices every day.  Choices to make the best of a given situation, enter into a mode of personal suffering, or be happy or angry.  Some people seem to be born with positive attitudes (and at times, may make their co-workers wonder about their sanity), but the rest of us have to work at being positive all the time.

Let’s Get Positive

The first step to developing a positive attitude is to recognize that it’s a challenge.  Most people who have negative attitudes have them for a reason: it’s easier!  The next big hurdle is making a deliberate effort to change and not give up. It can be, for many, a big challenge to develop a positive attitude. But remember, you have a choice, and choosing a positive attitude leads to success!

Here are some ways to help you develop (and maintain) a positive attitude.  Some of them may sound cliché, but they are tried and true for a reason.

Boost your self-esteem

If there is one common denominator about positive people it is a sense of high self-esteem.  Appreciating yourself has to come first, and if you think about it, everyone has something they can feel good about.  There are many things you can do to work on boosting your self-esteem.  Make it a point to feel good about yourself first.  Realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, it’s human nature.  Realize that it IS impossible to please everyone, and don’t take it personally!

Use failure as an opportunity

It is counterproductive to dwell on failure.  From time to time it’s an unavoidable part of life.  Anyone who ever says they’ve never failed is lying.  But just remember, “success is built on failure.” Use your mistakes and failures to learn.  Find your own constructive criticism in failure and learn what to do or not do the next time.  It’s a valuable lesson that provides opportunity.  We’d never know about a famous product called WD-40 if it’s creators stopped on the 39th try!

Always do your best

Failing as a result of NOT doing your best only compounds failure.  A person can hold their head high in the face of failure if they know deep down in their heart they did their best.  Failing because you haven’t done your best goes back to making a choice… and probably not a good one!

Devote your energy to something good

Make sure your actions truly contribute to something worthwhile.  Being a good service advisor truly does help people in need.  Strive to be innovate, unique and seek new ways to do better every day.  This will only add excitement to the job, and life in general!

Do the right thing

For most people, knowing what’s right and wrong is not too difficult.  Knowing what should be done should be an easy choice, actually doing it is sometimes another story.  Doing the wrong thing may be the easy thing.  “Doing the right thing” may take a little more work and may even mean putting yourself at risk. But in the end, it builds character and others will admire and respect you for it!

know what motivates you

Most people really do not know what motivates them.  Either they may not have taken the time to consider it or they are not aware of the basic scientific principles of motivation, or rather “what is it I desire beyond food, clothing and shelter” (e.g. Maslow’s motivational hierarchy of needs). “Self-actualization”, which is the realization one’s potential, is the highest in Maslow’s motivational hierarchy.  According to him, people will be frustrated if they are unable to use their talents fully or pursue their true interests.  If you don’t know what motivates you, strive to find out.  It will help direct your life’s energy in a more satisfying, productive and positive direction!

Accept the rules of the game (or not)

Every game has rules by which it is played; so does life and so does business.  If the rules are wrong or “unfair” strive to make them right.  If the rules are not right for you, then you have another choice to make: learn to live with them, or find another game to play.

If you make the CHOICE to live with the rules, it important to realize and accept the reality that most of the time we have no control over our work environment.  This is one of the biggest steps in not only developing, but maintaining, a positive attitude.  Realize and accept that it is impossible to please everyone.  Realize and accept that it IS possible to please SOME of the people SOME of the time.  Realize and accept that rejection shouldn’t be taken personally. 

In the end, developing and maintaining a positive attitude takes work and persistence.  There is no substitute for a “never say, I can’t” spirit.  Some of the most unlikely candidates for world-renowned success owe it to being persistent.  If you are willing to be persistent and pay the price for your own success, make the CHOICE to start now, this minute, this second….  and go out there and “give me some attitude!”

CBT News
CBT News
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