I enjoyed some quiet time early one morning before the demands of my day started. All of a sudden, a bird began squawking just outside the window. At first I ignored it, but it loudly persisted so I got up.

As I stepped out on the porch, I saw the bird squawking at Maybelle, our cat, who sat on the porch, staring off across the horse pasture. The bird bothered me, but not Maybelle.

She sauntered over, giving me permission to pet her while the bird still screamed at us. But Maybelle didn’t mind. She knew the bird was there, but chose to ignore it and enjoy my petting.

Is there always someone squawking at you about your business?

An employee complaining about your “cheap coffee”?
A vendor who’s more concerned about his sales than your profits?
A customer who’s convinced you overcharged her a nickel?

How do you deal with all the squawkers like Maybelle and Work Positive?

Ignore Them
Like Maybelle, you have a choice to whom you give your time, energy, and attention: the squawkers or someone more pleasant.

The path of least resistance is to abdicate your choice to the negative world and allow the loudest or most persistent squawker to garner your precious resources. Maybelle chose to ignore the pain-in-the-rear bird.

How often do you make a conscious choice in your workday to be like Maybelle and ignore the squawkers? She knew the bird was there, just like you know your chronically complaining employee is present, your vendor’s agenda, and your customer’s penchant for penny-pinching. You accept the reality of working with them, but strategically divert your most precious resources—time, energy, and attention—away from them.

Your internal conversation goes something like this: “I hear you, but I choose to ignore you.”

Eliminate Them
Sometimes ignoring them fails to moderate the squawking. They ramp up the volume and start dive-bombing you in a concerted effort to siphon your precious resources.

That’s when you move to eliminate them.

Maybelle was a well-fed cat, and on this particular occasion, chose not to eat the bird. However, I remember many other times when I discovered bird feathers around her mouth.
When the level of difficulty in ignoring the squawkers moves to DefCon 1 for you, then your internal conversation becomes, “It costs too much to do business with you.”

You fire the employee and hire another.
You fire the vendor and talk with the next in line.
You fire the customer and attract another, more preferable one.

You ignore, and when necessary eliminate, the squawkers at work, so you may…

Enjoy Them
Maybelle relaxed on the porch, gazing across the beautiful pastures to welcome a new day. She chose to give her time, energy, and attention to the positive morning and enjoy.

Next, she seized the opportunity of my walking out on the porch to enjoy some petting. She embraced the chance to purr.

As you ignore and when necessary eliminate the squawkers, you free up your time, energy, and attention to give to more pleasurable Work Positive pursuits. Your internal conversation transforms to, “I choose you to enjoy.”

You get feedback on how to improve from your best employee.
You strategize with your vendor to create better price points for products.
You handwrite a personal note to your best customers to express your gratitude for their sending their friends to you.

You purr as you Work Positive.

Who will win your time, energy, and attention at work today?

Be like Maybelle.

Ignore, eliminate, and enjoy as you Work Positive in a negative world.

Author's Bio: 

Best-selling author, speaker, and coach Dr. Joey Faucette helps business professionals Work Positive and achieve their business dreams. To discover more, go to www.WorkPositiveBook.com, connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @DrJoey, or Like his facebook fan page Work Positive to get chapter excerpts at no cost.