Could Your Attitude Get You Fired?

It’s important to understand in today’s New Reality that attitude has an impact on your business, my business, our business, and most importantly the value you bring, or don’t bring to the business.

In the old Reality if you had a poor attitude, you were given space. People left you alone. You didn’t have to be part of the group or the team. You didn’t have to like or be liked to get the job done. “Getting along” wasn’t important or measured. The fact you were miserable and made everybody else miserable was a distant second to productivity.

Well, the game has changed. Attitude does count today. In fact, it counts as much or more than ability to do “the job.”

Here’s why:

  • First, “the job” will quickly change. It will morph into some variation or go away altogether. Therefore, mastery of that specific area is no longer singularly valuable.
  • Second, today’s high-performing companies are filled with high-performing individuals. And in order to be high-performing individuals, we need to invest all our time and energy in the task at hand, not in whining or complaining. If you truly believe your whining and constant complaining don’t negatively affect your performance, value and ultimately your earning power… think again.

If you truly believe you are simply expressing your opinions, look in the mirror. Always being negative, always pointing out why it won’t work, always complaining about everything – that’s not an opinion; it’s a lifestyle . . . one your employer can most probably do without. And if you really can’t separate yourself from your whining or complaining… the company can probably do without you. It doesn’t mean you have to like everything or everyone. None of us does. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with every idea, suggestion, or person. We rarely do. And it doesn’t mean you have to whistle, smile, and skip. It just means you need to take a close look at your behavior, demeanor, and countenance.

And don’t think that because you may be good at what you currently do, that it gives you the right to inflict your unhappiness on others. Whining and complaining don’t help. They don’t add value or change anything. They don’t make you feel better and they certainly don’t make anyone else feel better. They don’t contribute to, improve, or advance an idea. They don’t work!

“Okay! I’ll just be quiet, stand here (arms crossed), and not say a word.” That’s passive aggressive silent whining. Stop that too. Your input is wanted. Your thoughts are valuable. Your suggestions for improvement are needed. You need to be involved, engaged, and participating. You do get to have a say. However, how you say your say counts! Some suggestions:

Timing counts: Approaching your boss with a chip on your shoulder first thing Monday morning, or immediately after an announcement about poor Quarterly earnings and a possible downsizing, is probably not a good idea. Be aware of not only how you present yourself, but also when. Respect and Manners go a long way. You have heard it said before: “Focus your disagreement on the idea, not the person” Start with a positive i.e. “I can understand why you say that, however have you thought about this?” Other helpful nuggets: “Can we agree to disagree?” “I would like to offer an alternative” “In my experience…”

Focus on the Customer: The common denominator in every discussion, suggestion, conversation, or disagreement should be the “Customer”. Prefacing your suggestions, ideas, thoughts and improvements with: “This is how I think this helps the Customer” puts you on the positive side of the interaction.

Choose your attitude: Choose to be positive rather than negative. Do it consciously often enough and it becomes habit. Let go of the baggage: Whatever you have been carrying around with you…let it go. The perceived slight or injustice let it go. What did or didn’t happen last month or last year…let it go.

Start over. Today is a new day and a new opportunity make your reputation based on performance rather than attitude. What this ultimately means is that if you’re unhappy, keep it to yourself or go somewhere else. If you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, deal with it and move on, or go somewhere else. If you don’t like your lot in life, improve it or stop complaining about it. If for whatever reason you think “they” have stuck it to you, let go, change your mindset or . . . go somewhere else.

You think you have a right to complain? To express your opinion? To exercise your free speech? You are absolutely right. However, organizations today are becoming less and less willing to pay people who do this and not much more. The definition of performance has indeed changed. Attitude is now part of performance. And in the New Reality there is now a direct connection between your performance, your employability, and ultimately your earning power.

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