Infectious Attitude

ConcentrationThe 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.


Filed under Team Building

6 responses to “Infectious Attitude

  1. Great post… As a trainer I often have to deal with a mixture of these attitude types. Identifying them early is key to managing the situation and dealing with it. Thank you for the tips…

    • So true! As a manager and a trainer you get to see all of these in one form or another. And you’re right about identifying them early to deal with their impact.

      The more positive you stay the easier it is to handle the negative types.

      Have a fantastic weekend!

  2. Hi Carol, good information and food for thought. I think I may jump in too quickly to help my staff out. Not because I don’t have faith in them to complete the job, but at times the workload increases and I try to ease the stress. But then it adds to my stress. I will have to ponder this…. 🙂

    • Tina,

      Thanks for your comments. It’s a tight rope managers walk on whether or not to help their team. Is it a positive or a negative? That depends on the situation and the people involved. The worst case scenario is that people come to rely on your help instead of getting it done on their own.

      Have a great weekend!

  3. Hi Carol, Nice post. I like the direction you went in describing the various attitudes we see around us and how we also need to examine our own. It’s too easy to see the attitudes of others that need adjusting without looking at our own.

    And, my what a great looking “I’m a Giant” badge on the right sidebar. I’ll be adding your blog to my Giant Friends page. 🙂

    • Dan,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It really is a two way street. We bring an attitude with us as do those we work with each day. These attitudes create an environment that is either positive or negative.

      Glad you like the badge on the side bar. I enjoy being part of the group, I always learn new things. I’m honored to be added to your friends page.

      Have a great weekend!

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