I’m fortunate that in my line of work that I am always meeting new people from all sorts of backgrounds and in all kinds of situations. This week, attending the gala dinner for the finals of the Business Book Awards with my publishers we were introduced to a wonderful array of authors and their companions, all inspiring in their own ways, sparking new thinking and new ideas.

In this sort of scenario it is easy for my positive attitude modes to be activated, ready to meet new opportunities and to engage in the full gamut of conversations. But what about those times when you are less prepared? Where there is less anticipation, or external positive triggers? How do you make sure your attitude mode is ready and willing to engage and tilted to give and gain your best?

I left Tuesday night’s dinner, naturally disappointed not to win but grateful for the experience, to meet my business manager for condolences, only to find him deep in animated conversation on the doorstep of the event hotel. His new stumbled-upon companion, an IT manager temporarily based in a neighbouring London hotel whilst on an assignment, were waiting outside for me.

Fortunately, we were residually positive and both switched onto “social connection” mode and a wonderful conversation ensued where our impact on each other was both uplifting and emboldening. If I had been hurried, closed-off, ‘finished for the evening’ and too ready to leave, then the inspiration that our new companion ultimately offered and we offered him, would have been missed.

I mention this small episode to demonstrate how wonderful the unexpected can be if you remain aware of your attitude mode and stay open. How many opportunities for the seemingly random but potentially powerful water-cooler conversations, accidental interactions, slip by? Each can create an incredible impact on us – they are an unknown chance to gain a new angle or insight. It might be for you or you for them.

In aviation, attitude means the tilt or angle of the aircraft relative to the ground and the prevailing conditions. The same can be said for our personal attitudes in that our tilt or angle needs to be right to gain the best from each situation.

What I have increasingly noticed is the effect of our ‘mode’ to trigger linked attitudes, and ultimately to create the impact and results we desire. Or, modes that make a narrower, less helpful range of attitudes available. When adopting a better attitude seems difficult, it is your mode that is easier to shift to begin the attitude shifting process.

So how can you, in your full-on work day, find the correct mode, and subsequent attitudes for each encounter?

You current range of modes deliver your current range of experiences and ultimately the results that are showing up in your world. Are they serving you and providing the experiences you love to have more often than not?

Take a moment and consider your modes. Prune out the bland and unhelpful and settle on a handful that will bring into your focus that which you truly seek.

They may be; discovery; connection; openness; learning; enquiry; curiosity; exploration; contemplation; gratitude; boosting others etc.

I have always been generally curious about people, interactions and what’s going on. This mode has served me well in all aspects of my life, particularly in doing what I do for a living. My other go to mode that needs to be ‘switched on’ on occasions is exploration. These two modes are familiar and easy to activate when I notice them missing. Reflect and redefine your two or three modes and have them ready for activation.

Your deliberate and purposeful mode have incredible power in the toughest of situations in which you may find yourself. Your choice of mode is independent of the circumstances – you are exercising your empowered choice. Once you know them and practice switching them on, they will empower you to face and get through challenges faster and more effectively.

Keep it simple, and thank you Sunil for your end-of-evening spark. May you continue to inspire those around you.


P. S. Want to work on this with your team? Get in touch with me today and I can run an Attitude Impact session with you.