Job Advice

Bringing Your Best Attitude to Work

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Kate Stephens
February 18, 2017

What attitude do you bring to work? That may sound like a weird question, but it’s worth thinking about, because we all bring positivity or negativity with us. Our behaviors, thoughts, and actions—whether good or bad—directly impact our success and working relationships. The key is to develop an awareness of our attitudes, then reflect on how this affects things at work.

The point is this: your attitude can make or break your future success. Leadership expert Michael Hyatt talks about how contagious bad attitudes are. On the flip side, behavioral psychology writer James Clear outlines research showing how a positive mindset broadens our possibilities and enhances our skill sets. Let’s examine some common workplace scenarios to get a better grip on how your attitude and resulting behaviors might play out on the job.

  1. Collaboration & Communication. We all enjoy being around positive people—they’re usually like magnets! Their upbeat views and affirmative opinions rally others around them and invite open conversations and teamwork. Conversely, negativity and grumpiness make others nervous, and colleagues might refrain from asking for opinions, advice, or help on a project.
  2. Motivation. If you’ve seen the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out, you know that negativity tends to color everything around it (just like the trail of blue that the character Sadness leaves in her wake). If you’re down in the dumps and likely lacking motivation yourself, it’s easy for those around you to start feeling the same way. Alternatively, an encouraging, upbeat attitude is equally infectious—but in a good way! Kind words, a genuine smile, and optimistic outlook inspire coworkers to work hard and put their best foot forward.
  3. Friendship Opportunities. There’s no rule that says we have to be friends with our colleagues, but some of the most amazing friendships out there have blossomed in workplaces. A kind disposition and courtesy invite others to get to know you, possibly fostering a forever friend. However, if you’re the grumpiest person in the room, you’re probably making it difficult for others to want to connect or get to know you better. Instead, be mindful of your greetings, tone, and choice of words when communicating.
  4. Professional Advancement. You may be a rockstar at your job performance, but if you are tough to be around on a regular basis, promotions may be unlikely. Leaders are drawn to employee characteristics like positivity, enthusiasm, and team-building strengths.

The best advice is to be mindful. Mentally take note of how you come across to others, your tone of voice, and your outlook on work. Self-evaluation may be hard—and even painful at times—but will grow you into a more successful person.