think, do, be positive

“When you spend time with people, you infect them with your energy – for better or for worse.”— Misti Burmeister

What’s the quickest way to determine if you’re bringing the right kind of energy to work? Simply pay attention to the people around you.

Attitudes can spread just as quickly as diseases. When you spend time with people, you infect them with your energy – for better or for worse. So if everyone around you is in a bad mood, or if people duck for cover when you enter a room, you’re probably not much fun to be around.

Just the other day, I was talking to Stephen, my friend from the gym.

Have you ever met someone who drains your energy every time you see them?” I asked Stephen. “You know, one of those people who’s having a ‘woe-is-me’ day almost all the time?”

“Yeah, I’ve met plenty,” he said.

“Do you go out of your way to hang out with them, or do you avoid them?”

“Avoid them.”

“Hmmm,” I said, looking at him with a kind, but clearly serious look.

This was my third time talking to Stephen that week, and I found myself wanting to run. I knew about his girlfriend problems, business problems, and roommate problems. He even had issues with his roommate’s cat!

He’d also told me how lonely he was feeling, which made sense, given the dark cloud that seemed to follow him around.

Most of us want to hang out with positive, happy people, who leave us feeling good about ourselves and life in general. Problem is, few of us begin by asking ourselves, “Is my attitude worth catching?”

Sure, we all have bad days and need good friends who’ll listen when we occasionally need to vent or complain. But if every day with you is a pity party, people will eventually stop RSVPing.

A few days later, I got a pleasant “Thank You” note from Stephen. Then he sent me the most beautiful picture of him with his girlfriend, enjoying a night on the town. The next time I saw him in the gym, he was smiling from ear to ear.

A few days ago, he texted me to say: “I was just told ‘You look good! You’re looking happy and full of life!”

His next text brought a giant smile to my face: “I’m contagious, Misti. I’m contagious!”

Of course, Stephen was “contagious” before, but now his attitude is netting him time with the friends he was pushing away before.

Regardless of your position or status, it’s important to ask yourself, “Is my attitude worth catching?”

How do you know? Just look at your team. Do they show up ready to focus, work hard, and accomplish great results? Or do they spend the majority of their time complaining? Whatever the answer, it says just as much about your energy as it does about theirs.

Join the Conversation: What kind of energy are you spreading? How do you know?

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Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations and Hidden Heroes

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