It's natural for you to be grumpy or feel sick of working if you have an occasional "off" day on the job. If you're always upset about something and see everything about the job in a negative light, though, your attitude might be having an effect on your job performance. A good attitude, on the other hand, opens doors of opportunity for you, and, if you're a manager, helps boost your employees' productivity.
Putting Things in Perspective
When you have a bad attitude, little things like complaining co-workers or lazy employees can balloon into huge problems with the potential to ruin your whole day. Employers might even sweep problems and employee dissent under the rug, thinking problems will go away on their own. Such things can make you hate your job and cause you dread coming to work. Having a good attitude, by contrast, helps you put events in perspective so you can enjoy your job and the people with whom you work. You'll see small problems as minor setbacks to quickly get over, rather than mountains that will take days to climb.
Productivity and Rewards
A bad attitude puts you at risk of missing out on promotions, raises and other rewards. For example, if your boss thinks you've got a bad temper, she's unlikely to promote you to a leadership role for fear that your attitude will rub off on your subordinates. Gamut News reports on 2011 research conducted by best-selling authors of the book ''Change Anything,'' that the fifth worst career-limiting habit, below procrastination and unreliability, is a negative attitude. When you have a negative attitude, you spend too much time shooting down other people's opinions and solutions to problems. This shuts down the flow of ideas and undermines productivity.
Your poor attitude might even get you fired. Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, told ''Forbes'' that 89 percent of workers fired from a job were let go for attitude problems, as opposed to 11 percent who were fired due to lack of skill.
A good attitude can win you friends at work, and that, in turn, may boost your productivity or opportunities available to you. If your attitude is bad, though, you'll develop a reputation for being a negative person who can't see the bright side of anything. Your co-workers will try to avoid you and won't share their thoughts with you for fear of your negativity.
Signs of a Bad Attitude
You might have a bad attitude if you have a rude tone of voice when speaking, roll your eyes at colleagues or sigh loudly when other people talk. Turning or looking away when others speak is generally considered rude. Negative body language, such as crossed arms, narrowed eyes or standing too close also show a bad attitude. It's also rude to inspect your clothes or body while someone is talking. Don't check the time, either. People will assume you're not interested in what they're saying.
Mending a Bad Attitude
It's not easy to fix a bad attitude, but you can start by admitting you have a negativity problem. Distance yourself from other negative people and spend more time with cheerier folks. Read motivational books and feel-good news stories. Find humor wherever you can, and don't forget to laugh. When something negative happens, focus on a positive memory. It'll be easier to weather the bad if you know things won't always be that way.
If you're a manager, don't tolerate bad attitudes from your employees. Meet with negative employees individually and tell them that their attitude must change or you may issue consequences. Consider asking why the employee has a bad attitude and if there's anything you can do to help. Praising employees for their work will usually raise job satisfaction and keep negativity low.
- Gamut News: Stuck in a Dead-End Career? Your Career-Limiting Habit is to Blame
- Forbes: Hire for Attitude
- The Workplace Therapist: I Have a Bad Attitude
- CNN.com: How Your Attitude Can Impact Your Career
- York University: Body Language: Positive/Receptive vs. Negative/Unreceptive (PDF)
- Denver Business Journal: Don't Let Employee with Bad Attitude Prevail
- FindLaw: How to Fix 5 Difficult Employee Archetypes
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.