WORKPLACE / FEB. 03, 2015
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3 Bad Attitudes You Have About Work and How to Change Them

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A little negative attitude can go a long way. Behavior such as causing discontent, constantly complaining or harassment can create a toxic workplace within a very short time. As an employee, a negative attitude can make you feel less fulfilled with work, keep you from having cordial relations in the office and places you at risk of losing your job. Here’s how to deal with the most common negative attitudes at work:

Chronic complaining

According to Trevor Blake, author of Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life, constantly complaining or listening to someone complain erodes the brain’s hippocampus; this part of the brain is responsible for problem solving. Employees who are always complaining are not necessarily looking for a solution. People complain when they want to shift blame, they are jealous, looking for an ally in an effort to solve a problem at the workplace, or are simply inherently negative.

Putting an end to complaining

Melanie Gorman, a Sr. Vice President at Your Tango and relationship counselor recommends that you find out if there are some unmet expectations that are causing you to constantly complain. Then, identify the person, preferably a supervisor, who can help solve the problem. Talking to a superior is much more effective than whining to your colleagues. More importantly, you can use your complaints as a motivation to bring positive change to the workplace. Every time you catch yourself complaining, try to find a solution.

Bossiness and confrontational behavior

A survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, shows that more than a quarter of Americans have been bullied at work. Bullies and bossy colleagues are often super-achievers and can easily get away with this kind of behavior. These types of colleagues are so good at manipulating the top management that it can take a long time before their real character is exposed. Bossy colleagues also tend to cause conflict and engage in confrontations when their behavior is challenged.

Dealing with bossiness in the workplace

The problem with being unnecessarily bossy or confrontational is that your fellow colleagues may start to distance themselves from you. It is important to determine your source of bossiness—are you a naturally assertive leader, do you feel so insecure that you have to bully others, or do you require greater responsibilities? Learn how to collaborate with others instead of taking on an air of superiority. To mitigate your confrontational tendency, practice empathy and how to control your emotions.

Intentional rebelliousness

According to Angie Herbers, Founder and Senior Consultant at Angie Herbers Inc., passive-aggressive behavior or rebelliousness is one of the most common employee behavior problems. A passive-aggressive employee can refuse to complete tasks or simply fail to follow up on their assignments. Employers often view this as incompetence while employees engage in this behavior to non-verbally communicate dissatisfaction.

How to overcome workplace rebelliousness

Passive-aggressive behavior such as insubordination, refusing to complete tasks or taking too long to complete them are often a result of an employee’s inability to confront an issue. Instead of resorting to passive-aggression and creating tension between you and your boss, supervisor or colleagues, your best bet is to speak up about an issue that is bothering you. For example, if you are unable to carry out an assignment, ask to be assigned something that is in your purview.

Often, employees who exhibit a poor attitude feel that their behavior is justified and is the only way to gain attention from the management. On the contrary, negative workplace behavior can hinder your chances of career progression and it can make your personal life equally toxic.

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