Smile… and listen.

Reaction |rēˈakSHən| A mode of thinking or behaving that is deliberately different from previous modes of thought and behavior

While a Traffic Manager, I was exposed to a wide range of personality types on a daily basis — introverts and extroverts, the rational and the irrational. While I couldn’t control the behavior of those around me, or predict what their attitudes would be like on any given day, I could control my reaction to them.

I learned, very quickly, that if I fed into the negative energy of an employee, the situation only worsened. If I combated that negativity with patience and a positive attitude, things changed — for the better — very quickly. I learned to listen to what (s)he was saying, essentially serving as a “sounding board.” I’d then offer my outside view of the situation and, more often than not, help diffuse it.

I can’t stress this point enough — Don’t underestimate your power, as a Traffic Manager, to influence those around you positively. Just walking through the halls with a scowl on your face or a frenzied, negative energy about you can impact the entire agency. Smile… and listen.

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