How contagious are you?


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Both optimists and pessimists are almost always right. I’ve also come to learn that they’re also carriers of their optimism or pessimism. Their outlook can influence, for good or ill, the people around them. We’ve all experienced it. Work an hour with Peter or Polly Pessimist and if you’re not careful you’re starting to agree that all customers are a pain or it’s going to be a slow sales day.

If you’re in a leadership position you’re beyond merely influencing the optimism or pessimism of others. You can infect others; you might be highly contagious. Your optimistic or pessimistic infection impacts your entire team, and because you’re the leader it also impacts your customer’s experience and your sales results. If you don’t believe me call the Center for Retail Disease Control and Prevention (CRDCP). By the way, it just so happens the CRDCP has the same phone number as Dynamic Experiences Group.

If there really were a CRDCP, they would tell you that optimism and pessimism are not attitudes that stay isolated. They show themselves in our behaviors and actions. They manifest themselves in everything we do including the store results.

Unfortunately, there isn’t an over-the-counter test to determine if you’re a carrier of optimism or pessimism, or measure how contagious you are. This can only be done through self-assessment. Luckily for you I have such an assessment right here.


Thinking about the last full day you worked with your team, answer these questions with a yes or no.

1. Did you have a sales goal for your team?

2. Did you believe it was achievable?

3. Did you have specific plans for how your store would achieve the goal?

4. Did your staff know what actions they should take to contribute to achieving the goal?

5. Did you avoid talking about the economy or any other reason the store wouldn’t be successful?

6. Did you encourage your team with positive comments throughout the day?

7. Did you give your employees any feedback or ideas how they could be even better?

8. When working with customers, did you assume they were in the store to make a purchase?

9. Did you believe throughout the day that your store would achieve the goal?

10. Whatever the outcome, did you leave for the day feeling good about your actions, your team’s effort, and your future?

Now let’s score your answers. Give yourself 1 point for every yes.

Points Diagnosis

10-9 Your optimism is highly contagious! Keep infecting everyone.

8-6 You are definitely an optimism carrier, but you need to spread your influence.

5-4 You are in danger of being a pessimism carrier. Take actions on your no’s!

3-2 You are most likely infected with pessimism. Antidote is massive positive action.

1-0 You’re pessimism is highly contagious. Call the CRDCP for treatment.

So let me ask, how contagious an optimist or pessimist are you?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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