Every one of us has a dominant-negative attitude, a defensive and potentially destructive pattern of thinking, feeling and acting which is known as Ego. It is a constraining factor or a personal stumbling block.
The main reasons are self-destruction, undervaluing oneself, denying responsibility, resisting change, greed, arrogance, and impatience. It can occur when someone is in a leadership position and loses perspective about his/her role in the organization.
A leader tends to garner large amounts of praise and recognition for successes both from those outside an organization and from within the organization. This is particularly problematic in situations where the leader sets up an internal organizational culture that supports communicating about positive things. It is true that some leaders succeed due to being in the right place at the right time with the right skills. But when situations change, the leaders who do not change along with the situations due to ego will tend to self-destruct. In ego-driven leaders, purpose takes a distant backseat to personal success.
Most of us have our food while texting on mobile phones or watching television and don’t really keep a count on how much we eat. Though the stomach might be full, the brain tells that to eat more and eventually end up over-eating. If we focus only on food then we will eat only as much as our body requires.
It is not fun to talk about it, but we have all experienced it before enjoying a nice meal only to regret it later when our stomachs hurt due to indigestion. Some of the symptoms of indigestion include bloating, belching, gas, burning or pain in the stomach or abdomen, and even nausea. We should eat the easiest to digest foods first in each meal and slowly move towards the more complex.
Think of a highway, if the slowest cars are in front they will hold up the faster cars behind them, causing a traffic jam. The same is applicable for food and digestive system also. Eat those fastest to digest first and save the tougher to digest foods for the second half of the meal.
How you think about something ultimately is how you will feel about something. If you want to control your attitude, be aware of your thoughts. Focus on the positive things. Eliminate your negative thoughts by consciously attempting to think with a positive, internal voice.
For example, when you feel frustrated because someone is taking too much space on the subway, think instead about how grateful you are for public transit. Think positively about how happy you are not to have to drive your car through snow and ice to work.
Remind yourself to think positively during tense moments in the day. For example, before starting your commute or before a big meeting, pause and reflect on what has been going well.
Thinking positively takes practice. Do not feel frustrated if your mind sometimes wanders back to negativity.
Once you discover what is causing your counter-productive attitude, determine what you can do to remedy those causes. For example, if your attitude suffers because you feel tired, try to sleep more at night. Alternatively, you could take power naps during your lunch and break times. If your work is not challenging enough and you feel bored, ask your supervisor about taking on new tasks.
If your negative attitude has impacted your team members, consider apologizing to them. Share that you have been having a rough time but are striving to do better. Ask others to hold you accountable. When they hear negativity coming from you, they can tell you to stop.
*For example, say, “Hi, everyone. You might have noticed that I have been complaining a lot recently about our company and the hours we work. I am sorry for bringing down the energy here at the office. I actually know that our company offers great benefits and support to us and I am very grateful for that. I am going to try to be more positive from now on!”
It can be hard to have a good attitude at work when your boss is abusive, either to you or to others. You may be afraid to approach your boss, but negative bosses can actually make you less efficient and make you anxious. Be mindful of power dynamics when approaching your boss. Be polite, tactful, and considerate.
*Approach the issue as a collaboration. Remember, your boss may not even realize that she has a problem, and she may not be intending to be hurtful. For example, you could say something like, “I notice I’m having some issues at work. Can we discuss about ways to address them?”
*Look for common ground. For example, you could say something like, “I know we both really value making sure that our projects are high quality” to let your boss know that you and she have the same ultimate goal.
*Be direct but respectful. Use “I”-statements. You could say something like, “I’ve found I work best with specific, concrete feedback rather than general commentary. Do you think you could offer me more specific feedback on my reports? I think that would really help me make them the best they can be.”
*Be honest. If your boss has said things that are belittling, harassing, or mean-spirited, be clear about that, but avoid sounding judgmental. For example, you could try something like, “I really felt hurt when you yelled at me in front of my office-mates last week. It would help me if you talked with me privately about areas where I can improve.” By modeling clear, honest, but polite discussion of your feelings, you may even help your boss deal with you better.
*Avoid passive-aggressive behaviors. While studies suggest they may be better than nothing, they don’t communicate your actual needs and wishes to your boss.
Everyone can have a bad day now and then, but some people are just workplace bullies. If your boss is abusive, or even simply not very constructive in how she gives criticism, it can make it very hard to keep a good attitude at work.
*Abusive, unacceptable behaviors include: intimidation, harassment, deceit, humiliation, personal criticism or name-calling, and aggression. If the behavior is consistently and significantly abusive or hostile, you may have a legal case.
*For example, if your boss criticizes your work by saying, “This looks terrible! My grandmother could write a better report!” this is an abusive behavior. However, it probably isn’t enough to sue her over.
*Sometimes, bosses just don’t have very good communication skills. For example, if your boss criticizes your work by saying, “This is terrible. Fix it,” it isn’t necessarily abusive, but it definitely isn’t helpful. It’s also likely to make you feel bad about yourself. If you think your boss’s communication style could use some work, it’s a good idea to approach her about it.
You don’t know what is going on with your coworker, so listen to him as he explains. Maybe his mother is ill and that’s making him more irritable. Maybe he’s worried about under performing or doesn’t feel valued as a team member. Understanding where the negativity is coming from can help you work together to reduce it. In many cases, your colleague may just be glad to have someone to listen.
*Use empathetic statements, such as “That sounds like it’s really hard for you” or “I’m sorry you’re going through that.”
*Even if the conversation doesn’t go well, you have tried to address the problem. If you need to take the matter to HR or to your boss, you will be able to say you tried to work with the other person and didn’t get anywhere.
Greet people happily and even if you are having a bad day, try not to spread gloom at work. Understand the concept of WOW–watch our words. What you say reflects what you feel and believe. Let your voice be a positive one of encouragement in the workplace. Offer smiles, compliments, and support to others.
*If you are going through a rough time or have experienced a tragic event, do speak with your supervisor or a trusted coworker to let her know that you might need support.
3. APPROACH A PROBLEM COLLEAGUE:
If a colleague’s negativity is bringing you down, try approaching him politely. It’s entirely possible he’s making others uncomfortable too, but nobody feels comfortable explaining the problem.
*Keep your statements “I”-focused, such as “I would like to talk to you about something. I notice that lately you’ve been talking a lot about what bothers you about your clients. I know we all have irritations with our clients, but the consistent focus on negativity is really making it hard for me to stay positive and energized at work. Would you like to talk about what’s going on?” Using “I”-statements avoid issuing blame or sounding judgmental and can keep your coworker from going on the defensive.
It can be tempting to use negativity when talking about issues, especially if they are serious problems. However, negativity breeds more negativity. Try these tactics instead:
Instead of saying something like “Bad idea—it’ll never work,” say something like, “I have concerns about that. Would you like to hear them?”
Instead of passive aggression, which says things you don’t mean or communicates sarcastically, be direct. For example, avoid saying things like, “No, why would I have a problem?” if you are upset. Instead, try something like, “Yes, I am not happy with how you’ve been talking to me in front of my coworkers. Can we talk?”
Workplace gossip can be a huge problem that contributes to negative attitudes. Don’t participate in it.