How Your Attitude Can Define You
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
— Zig Ziglar
The above quote says it all. Nothing will stop you in your career track like a bad attitude.
You can be the smartest individual in the room, but if you have a bad attitude, you are going nowhere fast.
To be successful in today’s competitive environment, you must have a well-rounded package. When you are up for a promotion or in line for a new project and three candidates have the same qualifications, who do you think will move forward?
At this point in a career, aptitude, or a certain skill set, is a given.
You must excel in the following areas to become a leader with a good attitude and to reach your full potential:
- Show initiative and creativity
- Be a team player
- Effectively communicate
- Have a professional image
- Be a producer
Surely you have heard the saying, “birds of a feather flock together”. This is a very important factor on the attitude scale. Look around. Not only is it important that you have good table manners at lunch, but who you are eating with at the table is also significant. Who are you “hanging out” with in the lunchroom at work? Who are you sitting with at the company outing? Does your colleague have a bad attitude? Unfortunately, we live in a judgmental society where we are grouped by who we keep company.
Imagine what your environment and attitude would feel like if the following actions were in place:
- Place your attention on solutions and opportunities rather than the problems or hassles
- Focus on what you can do, rather than the weak links
What if you are the one with the bad attitude?
Whatever the reason is for your bad attitude – be it stress, trouble at home, you are in the wrong job or with a company that does not align with your talents, this provokes and adds stress. When you are stressed, negativity becomes your modus operandi. This zaps your energy and the level of enthusiasm on your team. With a concentrated and guided effort, you can regain your energy and integrity.
So, what does attitude and following the rules of business etiquette have in common? For starters, think about it this way: you have heard of the Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. This is the easy part. Have you ever been with or worked for someone who was difficult – someone who walks in with a scowl, hangs their head and doesn’t make eye contact? Did you try to spend more time with them or avoid them?
Shift your focus and change your attitude. Maybe it is time to check in with your HR department. Spend time assessing whether you are in the right position at work or with the right company. It starts with you.
Lisa Richey, recognized as the leader for business etiquette training, is the founder of The American Academy of Etiquette. Her mission is to assist companies to train their staff in becoming more polished, to build confidence and incorporate professional conduct in the workplace. Lisa’s clients include Deloitte, E&Y, Northwestern Mutual and The Plaza in New York. Contact her for more information.