In my previous article, I talked about Culture. If you missed it, you can read it here.
Today we will examine the next attribute – Attitude.
So what is Attitude?
Attitude is something that is notoriously difficult to define. It is something that you know it when you see it and it is usually not quantifiable. Attitude may be defined as a settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior. Attitude can be seen as a person’s outlook and reaction towards life and the things around her — their personal disposition towards the outside world.
Glass Half-full, Glass Half-empty
How do you see a glass that is half filled with water? Do you see it as a glass half-empty or do you see it as a glass that is half-full?
Although not a fool-proof method of determining the real attitudes of a person, it does give us a pretty good idea of what attitude is all about. A person with a positive attitude would probably see the glass as half-full, because they see opportunities in filling up the other half of the glass. Whereas someone who sees this from a negative perspective would feel that the glass is half-empty and lament about not having it all.
When faced with a challenge or a difficult situation, what are the first things that come to your mind? How do you view the challenging or difficult situation? Do you think of quitting or do you think of possibilities? Do you think of ways to overcome the challenges? Or do you get stuck looking at the problem?
If things went wrong because of something you did or didn’t do, do you take full personal responsibility for the situation? Or do you blame others for it?
These are all indicative of your attitude towards the things in your life and the people around you — be it at work or at home.
A Little Exercise
Think about your own organization or your current team. Think about those who you regret hiring – perhaps those who have bad attitude. These are the ones who make you want to avoid them and perhaps even make you feel embarrassed to be associated with them.
Note down three to four things that come to mind about these people when you think of them and then compare your list to the one below.
What did you come up with? Perhaps some of the characteristics you came up with are similar to those I have listed here:
- Blame others when things go wrong
- Self-focused / Self-centered
- Criticizes behind other’s backs
- Thinks too highly of himself/herself
This is by no means an exhaustive list of negative characteristics. I’m sure you could have thought of many more. These are all reflective of a person’s attitude towards work and the people around him/her.
This same exercise can also be done for your high performers — those who have great attitudes. What are the things that come to mind when you think of your top performers or those with great attitudes? Perhaps you came up with something like this:
- Willing to take on new challenges
- Willingly take responsibility for things that go wrong
- Willing to admit mistakes and then learn from mistakes
- Always willing to help other members in the team
Compare this list to the one you did for those with poor attitudes.
For some, life is all about blaming others and pointing fingers when things go wrong.
But for others, life is all about seeing the possibilities, surmounting obstacles and overcoming challenges in life, and moving forward. These are the ones who choose to see things from a different perspective and take full personal responsibility for themselves. These are the ones who have positive Attitudes.
Do you currently work with people with positive attitudes? Or do you know some who have bad attitudes?
In my next article, we will examine the third attribute – APTITUDE. Stay tuned.
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