Happy New Year! I’m definitely on the list of folks who was delighted to see 2009 fade into history. Although my personal life was enriched by a new granddaughter, a new son-in-law and some great family and cycling time, let’s face it, the business climate was lousy.

I believe we can see better days in 2010, but it’s going to take some fresh thinking and accepting that “better days” doesn’t mean what it did even back in 2008. This New Year will look and feel very different. That’s where behavior styles, social media and a glass half full attitude come in.

I have developed a strategic working relationship with the Effectiveness Institute, a long time and highly respected management training organization headquartered in Redmond. While organizations in the midst of major change usually need better communication, they also need to invest in training for their staff to help them cope with the new world. To fully understand their approach, I attended one of their two day seminars on Behavioral Styles recently. Click on Behavioral Styles at http://effectivenessinstitute.com/ to learn more.

Working closely with a varied group of high energy professionals from a variety of industries was very enjoyable and also gave me a valuable new perspective on what I do. The program on Behavior Styles is built on identifying four key operating styles and helping you understand how differently people with the four styles work. Looking at the world in terms of Controllers, Persuaders, Analyzers and Stabilizers was a great reminder of the different styles we all deal with every day, and how important it is to acknowledge these styles when you are encouraging corporations to take on major change. For my clients, that major change is getting involved in social media.

I have resolved to do a better job of framing my recommendations in ways that address the very different needs of my audience – whatever combination of controllers, persuaders, analyzers or stabilizers they represent. It also brought me valuable perspective to the task of helping companies put together teams to lead them into the world of social media, and on what it takes to get started, with several legitimate options to choose from. And those persuaders? They need to see real life examples of how social media impacts their organization before getting on board too. The best way to do that is to get in the game yourself, whether with a FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn presence.

So how does this tie to my “Glass Half Full” approach? There’s no question that we’ve been whiplashed the last year or so, but we survived – and it’s time to move on. Unfortunately you can’t do that until you decide your glass is half full and you are going to do your best to get it filled to the top. Attitudes can be catching, and we need more people agreeing to try new things rather than continuing to wring their hands talking about how awful it is. I’d rather try to make it better. So that is my resolution: work harder to understand the styles of those I work with so I can persuade them to make the changes they need to make to keep their organizations moving ahead. And despite the daily “ain’t it awful” proclamations coming from every sector, I’m going to operate on the assumption that my glass is already half full and it will be filled even more in 2010. Would love to hear your thoughts and Happy New Year.