Kimberly Schnupp Jun 25, 2024 9:18:22 AM 7 min read

Four Steps To Choose Your Attitude

“Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.” – Dale Carnegie

We are living in what’s widely considered one of the busiest, fastest-paced and highest-pressure times in history. As healthcare professionals, especially, we are faced daily with new challenges, and we are expected to accomplish more than ever before. We cannot control what each day brings. What we can control, however, is how we respond and the attitude with which we face whatever life throws at us.

Attitude is defined as a way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, and it’s reflected in our behavior. Choosing your attitude means consciously deciding how you want to show up.

Through my years of experience, I’ve identified four key steps to help choose your attitude:

  • The first step in choosing your attitude is to cultivate self-awareness. Understand who you are and how you will treat those around you before a challenging situation arises. When you open your eyes in the morning, your first thoughts set the tone for your expectations and drive your attitudes for the day. Taking the time to understand yourself and how you function under stress will help you to be more intentional about your daily mindset.

  • The second step for choosing your attitude is to be realistic when setting your expectations for the day. Unrealistic expectations can derail your attitude. By keeping your thoughts grounded, you can choose a positive attitude much more easily. There was a time in my career when our staff did not leave the office on the last business day of the month until everything was balanced. The month-ends that did not close as beautifully as prior months would deeply frustrate me, largely because of unrealistic expectations on my part. I learned that being realistic is a critical foundation for choosing a positive attitude, especially when circumstances go awry.

  • Third, choosing your attitude requires you to prioritize how you want to affect others. Have you ever worked with someone who was optimistic about the day’s goals? Now think about working with someone who sported an apathetic attitude. Which personality type helped achieve project goals? No one calls a dispirited teammate into the boardroom! Choosing your attitude at the start of the day can significantly impact your team. And if you’re a leader in your organization, choosing your attitude each morning can have a ripple effect, influencing team morale and productivity. Imagine the difference it would make if we took a few minutes each morning to ask ourselves, “What impact do I want to have on others today?” Personally, I like to ask myself, “How can I make someone’s life better today?” My goal each day is to find that opportunity to positively impact the life of a direct report, a client, or even a payer representative.

  • Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, when choosing your attitude, take a few minutes each morning to “fill up your tank.” Not even the best teammate or leader can draw from an empty tank at the start of the day. Consider beginning each day by making a list of a few items that you’re grateful for. Focusing on the positive early in the day can shift your focus off less pleasant tasks and keep your to-do list in perspective. How you fill your tank is up to you, but the key is to ensure you have reserves to draw from during the day, because it is inevitable that challenges will test your attitude.

Life’s daily challenges are unpredictable. Feeling out of control can bring out the negative side of all of us, which can spread like wildfire throughout our teams. But remember; you have the power of choice. If you’re headed into a difficult conversation or meeting, remember who you are, what is realistic, how you want others to feel, and try to keep things in perspective. You get to decide what attitude you bring, and ultimately, the attitude you choose is contagious. Living purposefully anchors us to our values and keeps us steady during difficult situations. I challenge you to lead with optimism and purpose, and watch how it transforms not only your day, but your entire team’s dynamic.

Kimberly Schnupp is an experienced Senior Revenue Cycle Manager who leads a team of MMG professionals service clients in the hospital owned medical group and independent physician group segments. Her daily focus is on maximizing client cash flow through problem solving and application continuous improvement initiatives.