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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Attitude is Everything

In our continuing series on soft skills or workplace skills our next topic is - work attitude.  Just as the title says - Attitude is Everything.  Attitude is everything no matter whether it is work related, job search related, or related to your personal life.  If you have the proper attitude, everything is all right.

Louis Armstrong made the song "When you're smiling" popular with these lyrics:

When you're smilin'....keep on smilin'The whole world smiles with youAnd when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'The sun comes shinin' through
But when you're cryin'.... you bring on the rainSo stop your frownin' happy againCause when you're smilin'....keep on smilin'The whole world smiles with you
It is so true that when you have a positive attitude your outlook and most people around you will have a positive attitude as well.

Your positive attitude effects: 

  • the way you communicate with others;
  • your mind-set;
  • the way you look at the world - that includes your work and personal life; and,
  • the way the world looks at you.
To be able to look at things as half full instead of half empty is a learned skill.  You have the power to concentrate on the good news you hear or to find the good in something negative.  To be realistic, you cannot be positive 100% of the time.  It just is impossible, but when something negative does present itself, learning to deal with it rapidly and effectively is part of a winning attitude.

Are you pro-active or reactive?
Can you see a challenge before you, define it and address it before it has the ability to pull you into a mental hole?  Having a positive attitude will help you reject anger, assemble facts, talk to others, determine options and arrive at a best solution.  It also helps you live with a problem that cannot be resolved and neutralize any overall negative feelings. Aren't you more attracted toward someone who always has a solution instead of someone who always finds fault?

Some ways to tell if you need an attitude adjustment is by determining how others view you.  What do you think your current attitude is; what would family, friends, supervisor, co-workers gauge your attitude as; how effective are you; how creative are you; how is your sense of humor; how patient are you; how often do things "bother" you; how many compliments are you receiving; how enthusiastic are you about your job or things in your life?

A couple of ways to adjust your attitude if necessary include: simplify; de-clutter, don't over-commit; balance your career and home life; don't put off the unpleasant tasks to keep them from building up; and, sometimes "release" the negative relationships in your life that are providing that "tug" downward.

Business Etiquette
Behaviors are included in work attitude and often we need to address certain things in our work environment as they relate to proper etiquette for that industry.  In business, there are appropriate ways to conduct yourself in the workplace that include understanding, kindness, courtesy, and common sense.

Other factors included in proper workplace etiquette are:
  • appearance
  • honoring territories
  • honoring working hours and working while on the job
  • be friendly
  • personal information distribution minimized
  • be positive and supportive
  • maintain an open mind
  • follow through
  • communicate and listen effectively
  • solve your own problems
  • don't be in too big a hurry to advance
Other etiquette that needs to be observed is email, telephone manners, use of social media as it relates to your workplace and any other rules or conventions specific to your company or geographic area.

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