So… What’s that Bad Attitude About at Work?

Very Angry Business Woman

Have you ever told a direct report that you have ‘a bad attitude’? Did it help the situation?

Bad Attitude” means different things to different people – so it becomes a phrase without value. There are a number of things that can create this negative presence in the organization.

  1. Unaddressed Conflict. When conflict is happening in the team, everyone is impacted and given that many have an aversion to conflict it’s often ignored. When not resolved, it can result in ongoing stress and eventual burnout.
  2. Lack of Clear Direction. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, such as too many priorities; new employees that are uncertain of best practices in your organization; conflicting requests from management.
  3. Burnout. The individual is running on empty and needs to focus on better self-care. Be cautious of expectations after hours…we all need time off to rejuvenate.
  4. Isolation or Rejection. Perhaps the employee has been targeted by others on the team, feels on the outside and or has actively been rejected by the team. Look for bullying behaviours here too.
  5. Micro-Management. It’s frustrating to work away at a project, only to have it micromanaged – the person may think “What’s the point? They’ll redo it anyway”. The lack of respect experienced can create a negative attitude.
  6. Lack of Acknowledgement. Perhaps they’ve been working extra hard on a project and as a manager, you haven’t taken the time to acknowledge the importance of their contribution.
  7. A Poor Match for the Job. Does the person consistently have to stretch to work outside their natural skillset? If so, the ongoing stress of this is exhausting.
  8. A Values Clash. When an individual’s personal values clash with the organization’s values, it causes the person to work outside of their integrity and the stress can cause negativity.
  9. The person sees life through a negative frame – often focusing on what’s not working well and ignoring what’s working well. Their lack of appreciation is impacting their behaviour.

Next time you experience a “bad attitude” take the time to sit down and give feedback in a meaningful way that addresses specific behaviours and then seek to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective. Be willing to view the challenges from the person’s perspective and then create a plan of action that will address the situation.

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