The attitude you bring with you to work infects those around you. This can be a great thing or it can be a horrible influence. How people see you and how they respond to you is directly related to the attitude you present. So how do you show up?
Here are several attitude types we experience at work:
- Pollyanna: Everything is perfect and everything is wonderful. This gets exhausting if things really aren’t going well.
- Debbie/Danny Downer: Nothing will ever go right, everything is a disaster. This brings down the energy and effectiveness of everyone around them.
- Helping Hand: Everyone can use a helping hand. This person get irritating because they are too quick to jump in to help.
- Critic: There is something wrong with every idea/option. Perfectionism is hard to achieve on a good day and impossible on a typical work day.
- Lone Wolf: Wants to be left alone and stays away from everyone. This is frustrating because they have knowledge that will help others if it can be pulled out of them.
- Fence Sitter: Waiting to see which way things will go before committing. Getting them to step up and decide to act is painful and time consuming.
- Hopeful Realist: Recognizes that not everything is perfect or horrible, focused on getting things done. By focusing on making things better this person is the easiest to work with because they are excited about what comes next.
If you aren’t sure which of these types’ best represents your work attitude, think about how you describe your day. Do you use negative terms to describe everything? Do you paint a positive picture even in the darkest days? The words you use will give you a clue as to how you are looking at your work world. If the terms “nightmare”, “disaster”, or “failure” are often in your vocabulary then you are being very negative. Most people will avoid highly negative people. No one wants to be pulled down into the sad abyss that is typically portrayed. Things are hard enough, why focus on the really ugly parts all the time.
Likewise people who are falsely positive can be exhausting. They refuse to look at what is wrong and that can prevent them from addressing issues. Most places have things that can be improved. Focusing on the good and addressing what can be better is more realistic.
If you jump in to help others all the time you aren’t letting them grow and learn for themselves. People want help, but they also need a sense of accomplishment. Give them a chance to do things on their own and let them ask for help.
If you are a realist, focus on being hopeful. Some realists focus on all the things that can go wrong so if you focus on the good and look for ways to make the problems better people will be drawn to you. Finding solutions and ways to make things better is highly valued by companies and people want to be around those who celebrate success and work towards a better and brighter future.
Each of these types will infect the people around them. Make sure your infection is one of positivity and hope for a brighter tomorrow. Your team will thank you.