Book Review August 2006
The Winner’s Attitude: Change How You Deal with Difficult People and Get the Best Out of Any Situation
Authors: Jeff Gee and Val Gee
Publisher: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Reviewed by Soroya Brantley
What makes The Winner’s Attitude: Change How You Deal with Difficult People and Get the Best Out of Any Situation stand out from the mass of available business improvement books is the bold new concept its authors, Jeff and Val Gee, offer. Instead of concentrating solely on how to be a better or more effective worker, the Gees suggest improving the person as a whole and his or her outlook on life in general, which will, in turn, extend to the workplace.
This concept is perhaps best explained in Chapter One, which discusses the Brain Switch. The premise is that humans actually have three brains—reptilian, animal and human. The chapter explains how these brains work and how a situation would play out, depending on which brain is allowed to rule. The authors contend there is always “a moment of choice between a stimulus and a response.” You can choose your response—whether to be angry or frustrated, or simply try to make the best of your lot in life. Whatever your choice, you still have to live that life, so why not adjust your attitude? As the authors describe it: “How you live your life is a decision, a choice that begins in your brain.”
Chapter Three, “Understanding How Amazing You Are and the Power You Have,” reinforces the importance of lifting yourself up every day. The authors suggest affirming each day. Remind yourself that you are worthy and an amazing person. This will guide your day and lead you to do amazing things. It also affects the energy that you will project to others. When that energy is positive, the feedback you get likely will be positive as well.
“Switching” leads to better customer service by enabling you to view a customer in a positive light. Instead of feeling dismay or even dread when the phone rings or a customer walks in—feelings that stem from your anticipation of a negative exchange with the customer—“switch” to a different outlook. See that customer as someone who needs you and the service and knowledge that you bring to your job. Chances are that even an angry customer will be much calmer and more reasonable if that customer feels that you are honestly trying to help.
“Switching” also helps you to handle your workload more effectively. The authors suggest that if you feel overworked and are not meeting deadlines, it may be a good idea to stop and evaluate the likely reasons for this. Perhaps you are not prioritizing or managing your time effectively. More likely than not, you feel so tired and overworked that you allow these feelings to dominate so that they exist even before your day starts. Choose to be more positive and work will seem less of a chore.
Other chapters deal with ways to let go of anger and stress and focus on the positive aspects of your life. This is, after all, what the entire “Switch” concept is about. Choose to let go of past hurt and disappointments and open yourself to new and positive experiences instead.
Despite the magnitude of the information provided, The Winner’s Attitude: Change How You Deal with Difficult People and Get the Best Out of Any Situation is very easy to read. Each chapter is broken into shorter sections, and numerous anecdotes and examples shed light on the practical nature of “switching” and the ease with which it can be done. Grids and questionnaires throughout the book are tools to help you gauge where you stand now in terms of your attitude toward life and how much work you have to do to switch it to a more positive one.
The Gees do not waver from this initial concept of “Switching.” Chapters such as “Accept Yourself” and “Everything Starts With You” hammer home the point that it is your life and only you can make it better. You choose how to live and the attitude you will carry through life. Other people will merely react to this attitude. Hence, if you exude confidence and happiness, those you come into contact with will have more positive reactions to you, making it easier for you to get the best out of the situation at hand.
The Winner’s Attitude: Change How You Deal with Difficult People and Get the Best out of Any Situation is extremely informative about the human mind-set. The authors never seem preachy, yet each chapter contains much food for thought. Although it is an easy book to read and one that can be completed very quickly, the content calls for much reflection and deep thought.