‘I am all about Attitude Adjustment 101,” says Susan Young, a public relations expert and workshop guru. “Having a positive attitude is crucial in this world. I tell people, you can have a lot of college education, but if you don’t have a good attitude, you won’t get very far.”
To give people both inspiration and the tools they need to change the habits that affect their attitude — and business success — Young produces workshops that help people supercharge their lives. She says the work is especially critical today because studies show 90 percent of the people who are fired are let go because of their on-the-job attitude, not their job skills.
Young will present “You Can Learn Successful Business Habits For Life” on Thursday, June 26, at 9 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Raritan Center in Edison. Cost: $249. For more information, call 732-613-4790 or click to www.getinfrontcommunications.com.
The day-long program is designed to help people make more money, improve their communication skills, live with enthusiasm, abundance, success, and excellence, and shift their attitude. “The four modules are all about helping people increase revenues and profits through better sales and communication skills,” says Young, the president of Get In Front Communications, a subsidiary of her public relations firm that produces the training programs. “People can learn the habits that support success,” she says.
Young teaches those habits while sharing personal stories, motivational messages and entertaining anecdotes. For example, she shares a story about her father, a businessman working in Manhattan’s garment district. “He always carried a briefcase with a card inside that read ‘Don’t Quit,’” she says. “He taught us to stay with itand work hard. I share these stories to show how people are in control of their attitude.”
Similarly, she talks about the role of four-letter words in attitude adjustment. “I use them a lot. Words like care, nice, team, help, and give. With each word, I’ve got stories to share with people about timeless methods leading to work success and rules to live by,” she says.
Communication skills improve relationships. Some focus includes nonverbal clues, being inclusive, and clarity. “We talk about how superiors give instructions, and how workers hear those same messages. Sometimes, the boss is just not clear, even in a face-to-face meeting. Our tools help people improve as soon as they go back to work,” she says.
Listen up and ask questions. While an IQ never significantly changes from birth, an EQ, or emotional quotient, is very flexible. “This is about people skills and how you manage relationships,” Young says. “You can improve by asking the right question and really hearing what people say when they answer your questions.”
Motivation matters. People can reach their potential when they are motivated to go the extra mile. “I ask people what holds them back because fear paralyzes people. They become stuck,” she says. A better route: ask yourself what you would do if you knew you could not possibly fail. “Thinking this way lets you bring out the gifts you were born with,” Young says. “When I ask, ‘What’s holding you back?’ usually, fear, time, and money are the answers. I say we all have gifts and resources within us. When you’re motivated, you can bring them out.”
Chunky is better. “You might feel a sense of overwhelming when you look at the large goal while dealing with E-mails, deadlines, goals, putting out fires, and other distractions,” Young says. “By looking at work in smaller, more manageable chunks, it is less overwhelming.”
One way she helps people “chunk down” their work is by creating action lists. she says. Young suggests that each night, before stopping work, write down everything to be done the next day and give it a priority. “As you start crossing things off as they are done, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment,” she says.
Similarly, she tells seminar attendees to follow the 4D rule. “Create four folders on your desk and label them Do, Delegate, Defer, or Dump. Everything on your desk goes into one of those folders. It forces you to manage the work rather than shuffle the papers and it helps you stop procrastinating,” she says.
“There is just so much information, most of which is irrelevant to us,” she says. “It’s often stuff we didn’t even ask for, but it winds up in our office or home. So it’s our job to decide what we really don’t need.” It boils down to discipline. “For each of us, it is a matter of sitting down and getting things done,” Young says. “So many things fight for our attention that it is hard to focus. But we have to be disciplined.”
After graduating from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, she started out as a radio news reporter. “Everything in radio is a fast deadline and I learned you worked until you were finished,” she says. “If a story erupts, like a plane crash, right before 7 p.m. when you are going home, you keep working.”
After 10 years in radio, Young became a public relations practitioner, taking on the role of Governor Christie Whitman’s deputy director of the Office of Radio & TV. She worked in various roles with government and nonprofit agencies until she started her own firm, Susan Young Media Relations, which now has offices in San Antonio, Texas, where she once wrote a column for the San Antonio Business Journal, and East Brunswick. And each career step taught her experiences that built on her dad’s “Don’t Quit” lesson.
“I’m trying to help people adapt habits that have made others successful,” she says. If I can help a group of people come together, instill better habits in them and help them improve their communications skills so they can improve their businesses and their lives, I’ve done my part.”