Attitude In The Workplace: Knowing Yourself As A Way to Improve Your Work Quality

Attitude in the workplace is sometimes one of the most difficult to discuss. Whenever some executives approach me to discuss how they can improve their attitude at work, I usually tell them to start with themselves. I am a big advocate of first looking within yourself before you start looking externally.

How can one speak about improving their attitude without first looking hard at themselves? It is always easier to blame external factors when sometimes the fault lies with us. If you want to improve your attitude in the workplace start by knowing yourself and asking yourself these questions.

1. What Am I Really Good At?
Here is the first check of your attitude. Do you really know what you are good at? Why is this important? Based on my experience, I see many young executives demonstrating their frustrations just because they do not know the answer to this basic question. It affects their work attitude. They start to lose their temper and start to blame their bosses and company for not giving them the right opportunities.

There are two things that you need to check when it comes to knowing what you are good at. Firstly, check for your core competency. These are skills and technical knowledge that is required for you to complete your job well. Sometimes, you are already academically qualified to do this work. Other times, you get on job training. Secondly, check for the softer values that are needed. The common term used is your EQ ‘skills’. While technical skills and knowledge are important, equally important (or sometimes even more important) – are the softer skills. These are in general called social skills. Left unchecked, the lack of this self-knowledge will affect your work attitude.

2. Do I Really Belong Here?
When you have honestly asked yourself the question above, then you have taken your first step in improving your attitude in the workplace.

Now you know you have the technical skills and knowledge. You also know you have the softer skills to tackle your work. Yet you feel your attitude in the workplace is far from your desired level. Then ask yourself this question – do you really belong here?

Sometimes, we may have all the skills and knowledge and social skills required to do our work well but we feel inadequate. Then it is time to ask if your values and principles matches with the work that you do? To find joy in your work and one that gives you a feeling that you have a good attitude in the workplace, you need your values and principles to match with those that your work provides.

When you find that your values and principles do not match with those that your work provides then you need to think hard about your choices. Left unchecked, it will just contribute to negative attitudes at work. You start to feel frustrated.

Sometimes, our life values and principles change with our life stages. For example, I used to clock long hours at work when I was a bachelor, sometimes 18 hours on end. I was happy giving my all. After all I lived alone in the city. But when my first child came along, my values changed. I no longer wanted to clock those hours. So, ask yourself if you really belong here?

This can help improve your attitude in the workplace.

3. What Can I Do Better Of?
If you have answered positively to the first two questions, then I just say you have taken huge steps ensuring that your attitude in the workplace will become better. The last step is to pinpoint what you can do better of? Always strive to improve yourself. There must be skills, character and parts of our personality that you can adjust and improve. When you start to improve yourself, you start to create a better attitude in the workplace. You become more patient with your colleagues and
bosses. You start to smile more. Ask yourself honestly, what can you do better of today?

If you feel some of your colleagues seems frustrated with their work or seem less pleasant to work with lately, maybe they need to ask themselves these hard questions. That way, they too can start to be on the road to better attitude in the workplace.

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