Happy to be here? | TravelResearchOnline


Happy to be here?

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.

Except you.

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?

  8 thoughts on “Happy to be here?

  1. laura says:

    great points Richard!

  2. Tracee says:

    Great attitude and so well put! Words to live by. “Joy delights in Joy” — William Shakespeare

  3. Warren says:

    What a timely and incredibly accurate article. I also couldn’t agree more that some of our best memories are related to travel. I have a quote by Pat Conroy that I look at every day:

    Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey

    Don’t let someone else’s negativity determine your course of action!

  4. Joan Moore says:

    Great article, just wondered why the cranky travel agent was referred to as a she. Are there no cranky he travel agents, hmmmm!

  5. Joan – here’s a HE for you . . . ME! This article has just slapped me across the head and back into reality because it appears as if it were written JUST for ME! This is exactly how I have been for a while – and I am thankful for having seen this article today – and stopped and taken the time to read it . . . think about it . . . grab on to a ‘reality check’ and now, I will do everything possible to ‘change’ my mood – there is more truth in this article than in anything else I have read lately. TIME TO CHANGE!


  6. Hi Richard,
    Just read your great article … and wondered if you’d like to see my article on the Psychological Advantages of International travel?

    warm regards,


  7. Pat Converse says:

    Good reminder – this business has so many reasons for complaints but who likes to hear them? Non of us.

  8. Joanne Hunt says:

    Thank you for reminding us that aside from the
    many challenges we encounter daily this industry
    we’ve chosen can still be a rewarding profession.
    I keep a folder of client “thank you” notes and
    pictures of my favorite trips in my drawer so
    I don’t forget the positives.

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