Ever catch a cold and wonder where you contracted it? No doubt if you could, you would step back in time and take precautions, avoiding the vicinity of the person that sent the little viral present your way. The person who has a cold feels miserable and soon, unless preventative measures are taken, so do the people with whom they come into contact.
Attitude is a bit like a virus. It’s communicable. When a person’s attitude is wrong, others in the vicinity soon begin to act a bit out of sorts as well. Fortunately, it works both ways. Good attitudes communicate to others. When a person is happy, they have the potential of brightening everyone’s day. Happiness is contagious.
No, really. It is. Take a look at this article: http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20081204/happiness-is-contagious
I suppose those are some pretty obvious truisms. But here is something that surprises me all the time: I run into some pretty unhappy travel agents.
We all know a cranky travel agent. Most offices with a staff of any size have an agent who complains almost as easily as she breathes. Not you, of course. But you know her. It’s the stress, the workload, the commission that hasn’t been paid, it’s the agency management or the agency employees. It’s the supplier who is bypassing the agency, the technology that isn’t working or, and here she can really pile it on, it’s the clients. Those pesky clients. If it weren’t for them, she could really get some work done!
Let’s leave Agent Zero alone for the moment, she has enough problems. But let’s also make sure that we haven’t caught anything from her. A good consultant can fix your marketing problems and a sales coach can teach you where your sales technique is floundering. But a bad attitude has to be self-correcting. No one can make you happy.
We are in an amazing industry, one that should give each of us reason to smile. We connect people to their travel dreams. Some of the best memories anyone will ever have will be related to their travels. Long after the cost of a vacation has been forgotten, that special trip to Ireland or Egypt or Peru will remain. That’s the stuff from which humans build memories.
You help make that happen. That is a wonderful thing.
Travel agents should be the happiest people on earth. Yet, don’t we all see too much over-the-top emotion from too many travel agents when it comes to some of the issues just discussed? Not to say each of us doesn’t deserve a bad day and a large doses of understanding and therapy from our colleagues on occasion. But we really need to remember that we carry our attitudes with us everywhere we go. Anger and an ill-temperment costs us energy, good will and, worst of all, credibility.
Our clients can read us as easily as we read others. A bad attitude will cost us business as well.
This week, the 365 Guide is going to suggest just a few tiny adjustments that might help you along the way. And at the bottom of this page each week we inoculate you with an Open Jaw cartoon so we all get a chance to laugh at our profession of choice.
When a supplier does something you don’t like, let’s reason from the merits of the argument rather than threatening and displaying anger. When someone on a forum acts a bit disagreeable, let’s don’t return in kind. When a client takes our research and books elsewhere, let’s learn our lesson and move on. Life’s just too short to do otherwise.
As an experiment, take the time today to be a little nicer than usual. Assume good will. Smile when you are on the telephone, give a compliment, reach out and be excited for your clients. From what I understand, every small favor you give, every kind word, comes back to you three-fold. And every unkind thought, every bit of anger, contributes to the pathology of the world.
Enough of that.
So if you are already a happy travel agent, thank you. You are making the lives of everyone around you, including your clients, better. And would you mind slipping this article to Ms. Cranky down the hall?