The first time I ever heard this term was from my friend Mark’s podcast. I heard him say that he tries to bring his own weather wherever he goes. The term describes him perfectly. He is always upbeat, in a good mood, and has a positive attitude. He is well liked by everyone. “Bring your own weather” made total sense to me as soon as I heard him say it. What it refers to is your attitude and how it affects your environment.
Think about the actual weather and how it can make you feel. A sunny day can make you feel like you can conquer any task. You often feel like you have more energy, your mood is good, and your outlook is positive. Sunny days, in general, make people happy. How about rainy days? Rainy days can make you feel like you have less energy. You may feel tired and not motivated to go out and have a good day. Sometimes rainy days make you want to stay home and do nothing. These feelings are not universal, but I think you can relate to what I am talking about here.
What if you could bring a sunny day with you wherever you went? Wouldn’t you want to? You can. I am sure you can think of a few examples of people you know who seem to do that. I am sure you can also think of people you know who bring rainy weather around with them. Rainy weather people always see the negative in things. They never seem to be happy and they always have a complaint. They bring down morale and are generally not fun to be around. It seems like a raincloud is following them around all of the time.
How do you bring your own weather? It seems like sunny weather people are born that way. It’s just who they are as opposed to something they learned. I asked Mark one simple question, which is this: “ How much of bringing your own weather is natural behavior and how much is intentional effort on your part?” His answer didn’t surprise me, but it might surprise you. Mark said, for him, 80% of his attitude is due to effort. He looks for people to talk to. He wants to try to find a way to get to know others and do something to make their day better. It could be as simple as giving them a smile or a pat on the back but it doesn’t just happen automatically. He has to consciously think about it and make the effort. I watch my wife exhibit these same characteristics. People just flock to her because she makes the effort to reach out to everyone and connect with them on some level. Making the effort is the key.
Now think about your team at work. What happens when you ask how the day went yesterday? I am sure you have noticed that one person always says the day was terrible and another person (who worked right beside them) will say the day was fine. Which person do you want to be? How do you think that affects others at work? How does it affect your customers? Your patients often ask how our day is going. Do you think they want to hear how bad things are at the pharmacy?
Everyone isn’t wired to be a sunny weather person, so can you learn to be that way? I believe you can and that it is all a matter of intentional effort. Now, it may not be as dramatic of an effect as some others you see, but there is no reason why you have to live up to a certain standard. A little bit of effort goes a long way here. I struggle with this myself. I have a tendency to want to focus on the work I have to do and ignore the customers, so I can get more work done. I want to do a better job of bringing my own sunny weather.
We have identified the behavior we want to exhibit, so now how do we do that? The answer is simple. Just try to take a few extra minutes each day, or each work shift, or each hour to reach out to someone and get to know them, or make their day better. Look up from your work more often just to say hello to patients. Take a minute to walk up to the counter and shake someone’s hand. Try to learn more of your patients’ names. People love it when you know their name, especially when you are in a busy environment where you see a lot of different people every day. Ask someone how their day is going (and mean it.) Ask a co-worker about something that is going on in their life, or about what they like to do when they are not at work. This will give you a better personal connection, and something to talk about besides work. Share a story from home to let people get to know you better.
Times of change are also important times to show your positive attitude. People fear change. It is in our nature. When things are changing at work you need to accept the changes with a positive mindset. Don’t dread them. Look for the positives and talk them up. Getting new phones at work? (They are probably better than our old ones). New boss? (I am sure I will like them.) This can be contagious for the rest of the staff.
We all want to live and work in a fun and happy environment. We all bring some sort of weather with us every day. What kind of weather do you bring? Do you want to change that? With some effort, you can bring your own sunny weather. Are you willing to make the effort?
Brady Cole, B.S. Pharmacy
Brady Cole graduated from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana-Monroe) in 1997. He has been a retail pharmacist for 20 years. Five of those years he spent as a full time recruiter managing all staffing and Pharmacy School relationships for parts of his company. He is the owner and creator of Helpful Pharmacist (www.helpfulpharmacist.com), a website/blog created to educate the general public about pharmacy related topics. He is an active preceptor for several schools in Texas. He is a family man and an enthusiastic youth sports coach. You can reach Brady via Twitter @helpfulrph or on Facebook at Helpful Pharmacist.