Today’s Guest Post comes from Best of Blogs Nominee, Wally Bock. Wally is a writer, speaker, and consultant who specializes in learning and sharing how leadership and strategy combine to create successful companies.
His passions are leadership, marketing, personal development and the way people and organizations use processes and technology to improve results. He writes, coaches, and consults on these issues, as well as helping his clients by working through those same issues as a copywriter and ghostwriter.
The Attitude Trap
by Wally Bock (posted on 10/4/10)
“What can I do about someone with a bad attitude?”
I don’t think I’ve ever had a supervisory skills class where someone didn’t ask that question. The answer is that you can’t do anything. At least not directly.
Here’s the deal. The only things you can address directly are behavior and performance. They’re observable or measureable or both.
You can’t observe attitude. You can’t measure it. That doesn’t make it less real, it just means you won’t get good results if you attack it directly. Addressing attitude directly is a trap.
Wally goes on to talk more about the trap (you did read the rest, right?). I agree with his assertion – it isn’t attitude directly that is to be considered, but how that attitude plays out as behavior, and in the workplace, how that connects to performance.
In a recent post about boosting morale, I talked about defining morale. This is the same point Wally is making (though more directly and probably more effectively).
Describe the behaviors you want.
Coach to them.
And as Wally reminds us too, acknowledge and reinforce the behaviors (and therefore the underlying attitudes) you want repeated.