Your Waiter Can Teach You About the Importance of Attitude


Ever have a waiter in a restaurant that was efficient, polite, said the right things, got the order right, kept beverages refilled but yet for some reason you thought, “They don’t want to be here”?

A Waiter

The waiter did nothing wrong. Yet, something didn’t feel, well, warm or connected. It was just not an engaging experience.

How did that make you feel as a customer?

Attitude is a critical component of communication. When I write a post that seems inspirational more than instructional, it is because good attitude is critical to effective communication. Attitudes influence how we see the world and how we interact with the world we see.

We want to be inspired and be around people that are inspired. We prefer to listen to inspired people. We remember inspirational talks and conversations. We’ll even pay to go hear someone inspire us. Yet so many of us don’t consider what we inspire in others or what our attitude looks like to our clients, colleagues, and family.

Attitude is not necessarily the same as enthusiasm (although a good attitude typically has some enthusiasm). I know people that are enthusiastically unbelievable. Their attitude has energy but not credibility.

Attitude is not about false sunshine, unrealistic ideas of success, or fake happiness. No, it is about sincerity, trust, empathy, and effort. You can have a great attitude without acting like a playful puppy every minute.

Want to be heard? Remember that attitude is critical to being heard. Attitude can effect whether or not others believe you, trust you, pay you or even listen to you.

The next few times you dine out, really pay attention to the waiter’s attitudes. See which ones make you want to come back again and which ones don’t. Then for the real test, consider if the waiter wants you back or not.


Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. His website,, will lead you to more FREE information about effective communication training, risk assessments and genuinely helpful tips. You can email Glenn directly at

Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.