Roger Vicker, CCP
Have you ever been at the water cooler or in the cafeteria when someone comes up to you and after they leave you say, "Man he's got an attitude!" (Is it just me or do a lot of people have an attitude these days?) Anyway, if you were the focus of that attitude now you've got an attitude. When the guy next to you asks for the salt, you take one look and say; "It's just as close to you, get it yourself!" You gave him your attitude, but just like germs you still have yours. Now when you go back to your work what happens? Your attitude is slamming things, it really tightens those screws, and it has you otherwise wasting the rest of the day.
At one of my prior jobs the entire company had an attitude, an attitude of "indifference." Everyone was just putting in their time. The morale was totally depressing. The managers did nothing to improve the attitude. They felt everyone was replaceable at a dime a dozen. They even told people that, "If it weren't for them you wouldn't be working."
Rather than let myself fall into this morass, I have developed the attitude of "I know I do good work and I am going to do the best possible the first time." By refusing to accept a lesser attitude, although not as fast as my first example, in time my attitude began to spread, just like the bad attitude germs. The people in my department actually began to enjoy working. Since we have gone our separate ways, I have been told that they wish we could go back despite the surrounding problems. We knew that in time those problems would also have been given an attitude adjustment. Each day was fun. We began to turn out better work. We even started to turn out more work because we had to correct less of what we had done. The employees were taking control of their jobs and improving them, all this without any management support or even awareness. We were doing things the way we knew was right despite our managers (maybe in spite of our managers).
Whether you realize it or not, you always have an attitude, even though it may not be the same one as five minutes before. Even if you don't care, that is an attitude. Even when you do not notice it, everyone around you has an attitude and if you let them they'll give it to you. If you try to recognize when someone is giving you their attitude, and make a conscious effort to maintain your chosen attitude, you will.
What's your attitude?
Roger Vicker, CCP
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