Work Attitude Behavior and Work Behavior Attitude – Are They The Same?

Work Attitude Behavior = Work Behavior Attitude?

In the course of my experience, there has been many staff that walked through my door to ask for feedback on their work attitude behavior. Some of them will use the term – work behavior attitude. It occurred to me that they use these terms interchangeably. But generally refer to the same thing - their attitude and behavior at work.

But are they the same? Why is it important to know the difference? Personally, these two concepts – work attitude and work behavior – are different to me.

Before I describe the difference, I will continue to use the commonly used terms.

1. Work Attitude Behavior
Attitude to me refers to the ‘feel’ part of your work. It relates to how you feel about your work and your approach towards work. Hence, work attitude behavior is intangible. You cannot see it. Your colleagues cannot see it. But people can feel it. People whom you work with can feel your work attitude behavior.

They can feel it if you carry out your tasks with pride. They can feel whether you belief in your work or not. They know if you have passion in your work. These positive attitudes at work are a ‘subconscious’ transfer of feelings.

Which is why I always advice the more junior staff that it is important to cultivate a positive attitude at work from early on in their career. It is something that is from within and it takes time to cultivate.

2. Work Behavior Attitude
Behavior to me refers to the ‘do’ part of your work. It relates to how you do your work and how you get your work done. Work behavior attitude can be seen. It is the actual work. You can see the result of your work behavior attitude be it a report or a finished good. Your colleagues can see it. It is the action.

They can see if you worked hard. They can see if you do your work with skills and applied the knowledge you know into the work. They can see for themselves if you are the "all talk and no work" type. Work behavior attitude is the real thing. You cannot fool people into believing that your work behavior attitude is good when it is not.

It is equally important to have a great work behavior attitude, as it is to have a great work attitude behavior at work.

3. Let’s Break It Up
Let’s break up these two terms. Work attitude is the ‘feel’ part of your work. It usually is a ‘subconscious’ transfer of feelings about your approach to work. Do you do things with pride, passion and belief? People can feel this. So, from now on, let’s just refer to work attitude behavior as work attitude.

On the other hand, work behavior attitude refers to the ‘do’ part of your work. It is the tangible part of your work. It is the action. How you do your tasks. Are you hard working at work? Do you apply your skills and knowledge or do you do it lazily. All these can be seen. To keep it simple, let’s use work behavior from now on when referring to work behavior attitude.

4. Why Is It Important To Know The Difference?
In my experience, a positive work attitude does not necessarily lead to a positive work behavior. Neither does a positive work behavior indicate positive work attitude.

Let me illustrate by asking you to do this. Have you ever come across colleagues who are extremely positive about a certain project? They can talk all day about what can be done and should be done. They speak with pride and they truly believe in the work. But when it comes to the real deal, you see that they do not work hard at completing their end of the bargain. Yet others work very hard at their tasks but lack the passion they inject into the work. These work are done but is far from perfection.

When you know the difference between work attitude and work behavior, you can begin to align the both of them. Once you align both your work attitude and work behavior to be the same, you will increase your chances of succeeding in your career as a newbie by many folds.


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