Maintaining a Positive Attitude
By Stephen Bucaro
Your attitude boils down to your view of the world and life. A person with a negative
attitude believes the world is basically a bad place with the rules and the odds stacked against
them, and that people are basically selfish and mean, therefore their having a happy and successful
life is not possible.
A person with a positive attitude believes the world is basically a good place, and people
are basically kind and generous, therefore they can expect a happy and successful life.
Sometimes events contradict the positive attitude point of view. The economy goes bad
and people get laid off. Someone at work treats you with disrespect. But the person with the
positive attitude still believes, in the end, good will win out.
Be a Fan of Your Company
Let's be clear, no company is perfect. If you come to work every day expecting things
to be wonderful, you're not in touch with reality and you're going to be disappointed. But
if you come to work with realistic expectations, with the understanding that people aren't
perfect and in almost every endeavor complications will arise, then you will not be disappointed.
If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, and at the worse possible time - Murphy's Law
If you plan for human mistakes to occur and complications to arise, and you also expect
your co-workers and your company to have the talent and fortitude to overcome any problems
and be successful in the end, then you have the right attitude.
You should be a fan of your company, not because it's perfect and everyone that works
there is perfect, but because of your and their persistence in overcoming problems and difficulties
and being successful in the end.
So if you hear someone say "I can't believe so-and-so screwed that up" or "the company
dropped on the ball on such-and-such", your response should be "yes, but I know we'll overcome
that problem and be successful in the end". That's demonstrating a positive attitude.
You would think that an employee with a positive attitude would never complain, but that's
not quite true. If an employee never complains, even in an environment where there are many
problems, the company will assume that employee just doesn't care.
An employee with a bad attitude is a chronic complainer that complains even about minor
things, but never offers any solutions. An employee with a positive attitude only complains
about important things they offer ideas for solutions.
Here's an example of a non-productive complaint: "those idiots in production wouldn't give
me any help and my hands almost froze off because some idiot keeps setting the thermostat too low."
Here's an example of a productive complaint: "I had to call production about a hundred times
for part numbers, is there someone in production I talk to in person to speed things up?", and
"My hands got too cold to work on my computer, can I move it away from that air-conditioning vent?".
The point is chronic complaints about everything without solutions is not productive
and demonstrates a bad attitude. An occasional complaint about a problem that is affecting
the company's productivity along with suggestions for solutions is complaining productively
and demonstrates a positive attitude.
Watch Your Mouth
When talking in confidence to your best friends at work, you may say something derogatory
about another worker or even about a company executive or even badmouth the company. You may
not even seriously mean the thing you said, you're just trying to make interesting small talk,
and besides your friend will definitely keep what you said in confidence.