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MCLEOD: The curse of mindset -- how to get credit for doing good work

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Do you ever feel unappreciated?

You put in a long day, you complete all the tasks, you do the right thing by your family, yet people still complain.

Why? Are they ungrateful and self-absorbed?

Maybe.

Or it could be the curse of mindset.

Did you know that people respond more to your subconscious messages than your actual words?

Scientific studies reveal that when you're interacting with someone: 7 percent of what they respond to is your content, the words you say.

Ninety-three percent of what they respond to is your mindset, the emotions you reveal via your body language and tone.

If your mouth says, "I'll get it to you by tomorrow" but your body says, "I'm sick of your unrelenting demands," the latter is the message they're going to take away.

Some of it's conscious. But most of the time it's unconscious. People don't even know why they're not pleased with you. They just know that they're not.

If you've ever found yourself saying, "I did what you asked, why aren't you happy with it?" please read this next part very carefully.

The secret of getting other people to appreciate you and give you more credit is to create a positive emotional context for your interactions.

You don't have to do more work; you just have to serve it up differently.

For example: Imagine it's the end of a long day. You decide to stay a few minutes and crank out that last report for your boss.

When you hand it to her, instead of thinking "I hope she appreciates this and actually uses it. I'm exhausted."

Say, "I'm really glad I did this. I think it's going to be very helpful."

Serving it up with enthusiasm and confidence elevates the importance of the report and your efforts will be more appreciated.

By teeing up a positive emotional climate, you're setting the tone for the interaction.

I cannot overemphasize how important this is.

It's not enough to just do the task. If you want to be appreciated and rewarded, you need to establish a positive emotional context for the task to be received. You don't do that by complaining about how hard it is or silently resenting it.

You establish a positive emotional climate via your inner dialogue and your words. There are two elements to creating a positive context:

1. Think positive thoughts about the task (remember 93 percent of their response is to your mindset).

2. Tell people that you're delighted to be doing it because you know how much it matters to them.

For example, I'm so happy to take you to soccer because I can see how much you enjoy it.

Framing your work -- whatever work that may be -- in a positive context will have a transformative effect on the way people respond to you.

Positive emotional framing is why some managers get budget and staff for their projects while others leave meetings feeling ignored.

It's why some parents have a great experience driving the kids to school, and others feel resentful the minute they get behind the wheel.

Here's the bottom line: You can show up for the event, write the report, make the sales calls, and cook a four-course dinner, but if you're doing it with a negative mindset, people aren't going to appreciate you.

Framing up your work in a positive context isn't about manipulating people.

It's an easy way to create more happiness and joy for you, and all the people around you.

Snellville resident Lisa Earle McLeod is the president of McLeod & More Inc. a consulting firm that specializes in sales force and leadership development. Visit her website at www.mcleodandmore.com.