Bad Attitude, You’re Fired! (Part I)
Having a bad attitude, or allowing a culture of bad attitudes, will kill our teams. Period.
Bad attitudes may be tolerated in your team, your church, your organization or your family. Let us pledge to root them out!
You know the person with a bad attitude…
They hardly smile, are quick to complain, talk about others, gossip and murmur. You ask them “How are you?” They answer apathetically, “I’m here,” or “I’ve had better days.”
And there is always “something wrong.” Always!
When you talk to them, they will answer but after a 5 to 10 second delay. They are short and snippy. They are resentful and revengeful. They feel the whole world owes them something. They are convinced that some people are out to get them. They don’t like to play by the rules and support the plans grudgingly.
Do you know a person like that?
How do you handle these people?
Honestly, I often have an urge to choke them, shake them and plead with them to wake up! I often want to tell them a few choice words or send them a nasty email. (Don’t do that!) I want to tell them, “Hey buddy, you are not the only one with problems. Get over yourself.” I want to tell them, “You are dragging down this whole team.” I want to tell them that professionalism and being an adult mean that you keep your problems in check.
Now, of course I don’t do any of these things.
But as I stop and think about all of this, I cannot escape the fact that – yes, I admit it – sometimes I am that person!
That is why I am writing this blog; not to empower us to judge and criticize those with a bad attitude, but to reflect and improve upon our own.
If you find that you are the one with the bad attitude, what steps can you take to turn it around? The most important step, I believe, is to know what a good attitude looks like. Once you’ve identified the behaviors you are dissatisfied with then, you can begin to emulate the ones you desire. So then, what exactly does a good attitude look like?
Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. - Thomas Jefferson
What is a good attitude?
I believe a good attitude is being…
- Joyful not sad
- Hopeful not hopeless
- Helpful not self-seeking
- Grateful not selfish
- Delighted not gloomy
- Excited not indifferent
- Passionate not apathetic
- Vibrant not lethargic
- Forgiving not resentful
- Believing not doubtful
- Encouraging not disheartening
- Rising above it all not getting stuck in the hurt
- Content not despondent
- Alive this very moment not agonizing
- Optimistic not cynical
- Realistic (even if things are not ok, they don’t matter) not idealistic
- Persistent not flaky
- Patient not frustrated, irritated, or exacerbated
- Confident not doubtful or afraid
- Praiseworthy not complaining or whining
- Calm not panicked
- Smiling not frowning
What would happen if you chose just one or two traits to begin with? Before you know it, you will become a shining example to yourself and to those around you of exactly what a good attitude looks like! Give some thought as to how you would like your attitude to be, then make a mental decision to take those characteristics on. You can do it! It just takes one small choice at a time.
Now that you know what a good attitude is, if you find yourself with a bad one, tell it: “You’re fired!” And, start on the journey of daily improving your attitude!
(The next blog will delve deeper into how we should deal with bad attitudes in ourselves and on our teams.)
PS: If you think this blog can benefit a person you know, please consider forwarding this email!
Reading: This week I am reading the book Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster.