It's time for another question from one of my newsletter subscribers....
"I am a 73 years old and working part time in a Gated Community
as a security guard. I have problems with my attitude (according
to my boss) due to people's complaints, bitching, not following
the rules, etc.
It seems I am "too agressive" in my tone of voice and body
language, yet I have been told by many people that I am the best
security guard they have had in a long time because I do my job.
Just to mention, I am originally from Germany and I guess my
ways of thinking are still the old ways.
So, how do I change my attitude at this time of my life?"
First, I think your age and being from Germany only impact this situation as much as you let them.
--If you think you can't change at your age, you probably won't. If you think being from Germany effects this situation, it probably will.
If you focus, instead, on trying to improve yourself, trying to be an even better security guard, then I believe you'll be successful.
My next suggestion would be to read the following articles of mine:
Both of these are right here on my blog and offer ideas that directly relate to your challenge.
In addition to those ideas, I'd strongly encourage you to watch how you think (and speak) about the people you encounter on your job....
As you refer them in your question, with their "...complaints, bitching, not following the rules...," you come across as having a very negative point of view about these people.
If you change your perspective, I think you'll find your whole attitude and demeanor will change as well.
Rather than assuming negative motivations for these people, assume positive ones:
--And that's another key: be polite -- very polite.
"Please use the other entrance after 10 p.m. Thank you!" strikes people much softer (and more positively) than "You're supposed to use the other entrance after 10 p.m."
The more (honestly) polite you are, the more polite people will be in response to you...
Lastly, studies have shown that when people are given reasons (especially using the word "because"), they are much more likely to respond positively to requests, even if the reasons aren't particularly strong.
"Please don't go out that door, because it's windy out there" is better than just "Please don't do out that door." --Yeah, I know, it sounds silly, but it works and that is what's important.
So -- start implementing some of these idea the next time you go to work and see if your attitude -- and people's perceptions of your attitude --start to change!