Attitudes are contagious.

“Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”  -Dennis and Wendy Mannering

This is another quote I came across in the motivational quotes section of SparkPeople.  I happen to think that, in a lot of ways, this quote is pretty true.  You can see it in groups all the time.  If one person is always judgmental, rude, negative, or whatever, the rest of the group usually is too.  But when that person leaves it’s like the group’s dynamic changes.

I saw this a little bit at work on Tuesday, and I know I’ll see it today too.

In a previous post I talked about a book I’m reading for work called “Switch.”  We’ve been asked to find something in our library branches to which we can apply what we’ve learned in the first 98 pages.  I chose our greeter desk as the thing to work on with the tools we’ve picked up from the first section of reading. I’ve been asked to present on my “project” at an upcoming managers meeting.

The idea is that you want to “paint a picture postcard” so that everyone will have the same destination in mind for a particular project.  I actually have two for the greeter desk:

  1. BE the model that everyone else will copy (meaning: if we make it successful, other branches will have to copy us)
  2. The most welcoming library in our system (meaning: welcome everyone, make them feel good about using the library, keep them coming back for more)

With those two postcards in mind, I’m meeting with the staff who will be working at the greeter desk.  The problem is that the greeter desk is the least favorite desk to work at in my branch.  The staff has complained about it being boring, especially when the library is slow (my staff go a little stir crazy when they run out of things to do).  They’ve also said that they don’t like working at that desk when there’s so much work to be completed in the back and/or when there’s a long line at the membership desk (they don’t feel like team players when others are doing all the work).  Patrons don’t know what the desk is for.  Many of them try to come up and use the staff computer.  There isn’t a place for a chair.  The list goes on.

I wanted to get some input from my staff on what they think would make the greeter desk work best to meet the two postcards above.  The branch can’t operate if we’re all at a meeting, so I’ve split my circulation clerks up into two meetings.  The first group met on Tuesday.  The other group meets today.

I was/am actually nervous about meeting in these groups.  Some of my staff can be negative and will tell me all the reasons why something isn’t working or won’t work.  They are reluctant to give options a chance before negating them.  Tuesday’s group only had one negative person, but it seemed to work out OK.  I did my best to maintain control of the meeting/brainstorm.  I kept bringing the group back to the biggest questions:

  • When does this desk work best? (looking for the bright spot!)
  • What would you do with unlimited money to make the desk work better?
  • What would you do with minimal money to make the desk work better?

The other group members helped refocus the negative person with their positivity.  Eventually he came on board with looking for solutions and actually offered one of the best solutions from that meeting.  Getting back to the quote that started this blog: The group’s attitude was contagious, and it was worth catching.  They came up with some great solutions they could all agree on.

Today’s group has 2 people that tend to be more negative.  They’re also very vocal.  I’m hoping they won’t be too much of a challenge.  And if they are then I hope their attitude is not contagious.  We need solutions and ideas of the ways we can meet the destination postcards – not more reasons why one desk doesn’t work and resistance against making it work.

So, wish me luck!  It’ll be interesting to see what solutions today’s group comes up with for our desk.  I wonder if they’ll be along the same lines as Tuesday’s group.  I guess we’ll see!

I Can Feel the Wind Go By

“I can feel the wind go by when I run.  It feels good.  It feels fast.”  -Evelyn Ashford

I came across this quote in the motivational quotes section of SparkPeople.  Sometimes when I run I feel just like this.  And sometimes I struggle with every fiber of my being to remember this feeling.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d run, just to run?  Or you’d ride your bike as fast as you could before coasting along?  Ms. Ashford’s quote reminds me of that feeling.  The freedom, the speed, the power… that feeling of flying.

I’m working towards having that feeling every time I run.  Or at least the majority of the times I run.

Right now running is difficult for me.  I don’t know why something that was so easy (or at least not exhausting) a few weeks ago is so difficult now.  Is it simply the change from a 2/1 run/walk cycle to a 3/1 that’s the culprit?  Am I not fueling or hydrating properly?  Is it my sleep?

Until I figure it out I need to remember that feeling from childhood.  That feeling from the perfect run.  I’ll keep working towards it and know from experience that it’s possible to achieve.

Couch to 5K – Week 4 Day 2

For more information on the Couch to 5K training program, visit

Today’s workout had the same requirements as Monday’s and it was just as challenging.  The difference?  I actually completed this one!

I generally prefer to jog in the mornings, before my knee has had a chance to become tired and achy.  It didn’t work out that way today because I stayed overnight to take care of mom.  As a result, I had to push today’s workout back to tonight and I ended up running on a tired knee.

After Monday’s disappointment, I really wasn’t looking forward to this workout.  I figured that I needed to run smarter and listen to my body this time.  Novel idea, right?  Normally I walk at 3.5 mph and jog at 4.7 mph.  That’s what I did for the first three jogging portions of this workout.  Then, since the final jog was where I fell apart last time, I cut my speed back to 4.5 mph.  It was still really tough, but it worked.

About a minute into the final jog (the 5 minute one) I was already hot and annoyed.  Whiny almost.  I told myself to shut up and jog.  Then 2.5 minutes in I was ready to quit, but I told myself that I was halfway done, and to keep going.  4 minutes in I started to get excited – I could see the finish line!  30 seconds later I tried to count down, but got discouraged and quickly stopped that idea.  15 seconds later counted down and at the 5 minute mark I wheezed “wooo!” and got back to walking.

I went 1.92 miles in 28 min 13 sec.

So, I think what I learned from this workout is the importance of working smarter and self motivation.  If I hadn’t slowed down for the final jog I would have had a harder time finishing.  And if I didn’t talk myself into keeping going I would have quit again.

Thing #10

Multitasking poster
Originally uploaded by danieBOB

For Thing #10 we were to play around with an image generator. I made a motivational poster. I found it on FD’s Toys.

It seemed easy enough to use, but I would have liked this tool better if I could see the changes as I made them, rather than guess how they’d turn out.

That’s all for now!

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