4 Steps to Choose Your Attitude–the FISH! Philosophy Way

Published On: July 5, 2023Categories: Blog

Choose Your Attitude is one of the FISH! Philosophy core tenets that people pick up on fairly intuitively, but have a hard time actually putting into practice. Yes, it makes sense on the surface–when you adopt a beneficial or effective attitude in the workplace, it’ll lead to more positive interactions with your team and help you reach your goals.

But the truth is, it’s more complicated and more difficult than that. How do you know what attitude to choose? How do you choose your attitude without suppressing or burying your emotions? How do you slow down and make it a conscious choice, rather than simply giving into your emotional urges in any given moment? Choose Your Attitude is a necessary tool to pick up, so here are just a few ways to help you put it into practice:

Adopt a “growth” mindset

The first step towards Choosing Your Attitude in the moment is Choosing Your Attitude in the long-term. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. When we say “Choose Your Attitude,” we’re encouraging you to pick the best way to engage in a particular social or professional situation. But that’s not always easy, and in order to do so, we need to commit ourselves to living a life where we see the benefits of using this tool.

This means sitting down and making a conscious effort to adopt a “growth” mindset–that is, committing to personal growth, committing to long- and short-term goals, and committing yourself to the work that it takes to achieve all of the above. When you live life with this growth-oriented attitude, then that makes practicing Choose Your Attitude during life’s smaller moments that much easier and more natural.

Remember your goal 

When you finally get into one of those smaller interactions where you need to practice Choose Your Attitude, one of the most important things you can do is start by remembering (or defining) the goal you have for that engagement.

For example, if you’re in a meeting and your coworker is getting on your nerves, you may be tempted to tell them off, right? Now, we can’t read your mind, but it’s likely that your goal in that meeting is not to humiliate your coworker, but to have a productive meeting. So when you keep this goal in mind, you may realize that the best route forward isn’t raising your voice or piling on the snark, but ignoring the behavior, politely addressing the cause of the disruption, or steering the conversation back on track.

At the end of the meeting, that makes you look professional and competent, and increases the chances that the meeting will end with your goals met–exactly what we want when we practice Choose Your Attitude.

Identify (and challenge) your assumptions

Of course, humans are emotional creatures–sometimes when something (or somebody) is really bothering us, focusing logically on our goals rather than acting on our emotions is easier said than done.

In instances like this, one thing you can do to help more effectively Choose Your Attitude is sitting with–and working through–the root of these emotions and figuring out how they might be tempered. If you assume your coworker from the last example is intentionally derailing the meeting by being obnoxious, question that thought for a moment: how likely is this intentionality? Is it more likely that they don’t realize what they’re doing, or feel they need to act out in order to have their voice heard.

Challenging those assumptions may not make the interaction less annoying, but it may help you choose an attitude of compassion and grace rather than displaying that annoyance outwardly in a way that works against your goals for the meeting.

Be aware of your inner voice

Each and every one of us has internal reactions to everything that happens to us and around us, and we can’t always control what feelings pop into our head via this inner voice. While often these feelings are accurate or prescient and deserve our attention and respect, but often these feelings are what drive the assumptions and implicit reactions that lead us to behave outwardly in ways that are ineffective or won’t help us achieve our goals.

While we may not be able to decide how our inner voice reacts or what it says to us, we can control what we choose to act on outwardly. By taking a “step back” and being aware of what our inner voice is telling us, we can then filter it–taking those steps to identify and challenge assumptions, recall what goals we’re striving to reach, and decide the best way to express ourselves.

This is the true moment of Choosing Your Attitude–when you feel the urge to automatically react to a certain feeling or emotion, but are able to make a conscious effort to pick the most effective way to proceed.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • What work situations are most likely to provoke an emotional reaction from you? What’s one thing you can do to prepare for these moments in advance?
  • Do you consciously consider your goals when entering an interaction? If not, start by taking 30 seconds before every scheduled engagement to define how you want that engagement to turn out.
  • What assumptions do you find yourself making about others automatically, without thinking? Do you make an effort to challenge those assumptions when they occur, or do they provoke a reaction every time?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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