By Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA
Sitting at a recent conference, I was able to watch an usher trying to guide attendees to their respective places. While this usher was performing her job repeatedly in a black and white manner, her frustration was visible and she did not attempt to hide it. Some guests kept quiet but some pushed back, to which the usher returned additional negative comments.
Parking and mobility can sometimes seem like we are herding cats. Especially during events, we seem to repeat the same instructions to different guests hundreds of times. Repeating the same message can be mind-numbing. Fatigue sets in and we let it take over our mood. We become frustrated and we allow it to show. However, when this occurs, the only loser is you. Your visible negativity does not fix the situation, and at the same time brings you and your organization into a poor light.
Parking and mobility industry leaders must remind ourselves negative interactions will snowball into more significant problems if we allow our frustration to show. When presented with a negative situation, remind yourself to keep your emotions in check, and remember that a negative response would only worsen the situation. While I am not perfect, I have learned to take pride in the times when I control my emotions and defuse a negative situation. Leadership is more than leading those that will follow; it is taking the time and effort during a negative encounter to understand, and maybe they will start following you too.
Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, is director, university services, with SP+.