A bad attitude is a serious liability in the workplace. It will prevent you from getting promotions, it will limit your networking efforts, and it can even get you fired. On the other hand, a positive attitude can open doors that you didn't even know existed. How can you demonstrate a positive attitude at work? Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Smile and be friendly. Don't underestimate the importance of being pleasant at work. By being friendly and engaging with your co-workers, you will build important relationships and will be seen as a positive addition to the team.
2. Don't complain and don't put up roadblocks. Whiners are a dime a dozen, and they are a drain on staff morale. If you are always complaining, you may find that your co-workers avoid you, and why shouldn't they? Also, when someone comes up with a new idea, do you respond by telling them why it won't work? Resist that temptation, and give the idea a try. As the Chinese proverb goes, "The person who says that it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
3. Be courteous and respectful to everyone all of the time. It is never acceptable to be rude to anyone at work. Even if you're having a bad day, even if they were rude to you first, you must always be professional.
4. Do your part. When we work with others, there are things that we all have to do, even when we don't feel like it, to make our co-workers happy. This includes cleaning up after yourself in the lunchroom, signing (another) birthday card, or buying chocolates so that your co-worker's daughter's soccer team can get uniforms. It's all part of the workplace culture, so you might as well embrace it. (And don't forget how nice it was when everyone signed your birthday card!)
5. Be on time, always make deadlines, and do what you promise. When you are late, or when you don't do what you promise, it shows that you are unreliable. Your manager and co-workers will quickly realize that they cannot count on you, and when that happens, you become expendable.
6. Avoid office politics. Office politics are a waste of time, and they can irreparably damage your workplace relationships. Instead of playing the power game, focus your time and energy on doing your job well. If you perform well, and are professional to everyone, you will succeed in any workplace environment.
7. Try to help your co-workers whenever you can. Is there anything that you can do to make a co-worker's life a little easier? Is there any way that you can lighten someone's load? If so, then take the opportunity to help someone out. They will surely appreciate it, and you will show that you're a team player.
Having a good attitude is as simple as it is important; just work hard, be nice and you'll be fine. Remember Vince Lombardi's words, "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
(Written by: Karen Bivand)