Play the Glad Game
Welcome to Glad Town!

I have a secret: I play the “Glad Game!” As Rubys, we frequently hear the same question: “How do you sound SO happy all the time?” While our team participates in many happiness-boosting activities, I have another little trick to enhance my positivity.

I first learned about the Glad Game in the 1960 movie Pollyanna, in which an orphan moves to a dreary small town and wins it over with her unrelenting cheerfulness. Pollyanna’s philosophy is that in any situation in life, there is always something to be glad about. The townspeople in this story are an unhappy sort, and point out their misery at every turn. Pollyanna responds to each of their complaints with a reminder of gratitude. The townspeople think they have her stumped when they cannot find a single thing they like about Sundays, but she points out that they should be glad it is six full days until the next Sunday!

Playing the Glad Game in your daily life is simple! When you encounter a situation that is not ideal, try to think of one thing you about it that makes you glad. Stuck in traffic? Be glad it’s not raining! Have a busy Monday ahead of you? Be glad your business is thriving (or that you have virtual receptionists to help you)! Try saying your “glad statements” out loud to yourself to further reinforce your message!

I challenge myself to play this game whenever negative thoughts creep into my mind. Recently, I got a flat tire. At first glance, there’s nothing to be glad about in that instance. After just a few seconds, though, I could think of a ton of reasons to be grateful! “I’m glad I have a spare tire,” I told myself. “I’m glad I know how to change it. I’m glad I’m in a safe place to pull over. I’m glad I’m on my way home so I won’t be late anywhere!” Without the Glad Game, an event like this has a tendency to affect your whole afternoon. Instead, just a few minutes later I had my spare tire on and was happily heading home!

It’s not just a Thanksgiving holiday game; the next time you’re dreading a particular meeting, or frustrated with the way a project is going, give the Glad Game a whirl! Facing these tasks with a sense of gratitude will boost your mood and will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle that challenge!

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Whether you’re embarking on new receptionist job or just filling in for the afternoon, here are four easy ways to sound like a pro from the get-go:

Begin every call with a great greeting. Start with a warm welcome like “Good morning” or “Thank you for calling” (or use both). Be sure to state the business name, and if you feel like upping the friendliness factor, try introducing yourself. Always end your greeting with an offer of assistance. Here’s what a solid greeting looks like:

Good morning! Thank you for calling ABC Company. This is Ruby. How may I help you?

Courtesy is key. The secret to making a good impression can be summed up in two words: friendliness and professionalism. Commanding phrases like “I need your name” are a big no-no; always ask for information politely, as in “May I ask who is calling?” Use “please” and “thank you” liberally, as well as upbeat, affirmative words like “absolutely” and “certainly.”

Fear no question. If you’re new to a job chances are you’re going to be asked questions you’re not quite sure how to answer. Here’s a trade secret: You don’t have to have an answer in order to reply with confidence and grace. Instead of uttering a defeated “I don’t know,” try “That’s a great question! I’ll be happy to look into that for you,” or “Good question! I’ll find the best person to answer it.”

Know there’s always a way to help (and offer it!). If you’re not able to put your caller in touch with the person they’re looking for, be prepared to offer something else. For example, saying “Tim is in a meeting” is not so helpful, but add a bit more to it and you’re on the right track:

Tim is in a meeting at the moment, but I’ll be happy to take a message!

Tim is in a meeting at the moment. Would you like me to try his assistant?

And remember, it’s your overall friendliness and desire to help that will make a difference in your callers’ days. With a little kindness and courtesy, you’re sure to make a great impression on every caller!

Photo via Flickr user locosteve

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