Jonena Relth, TBD Consulting
Wow, what a Flash Back reminder I got this morning from a current webinar being advertised on employee attitude adjustment.
The promo states that, "If they don’t get the rewards most of us associate with stardom, they whine and complain. When you see this kind of behavior, look beyond the individual employee. The real problem is probably the employee’s boss, who has most likely been sending all the wrong messages to employees, tolerating negative attitudes, turning a blind eye to bad behavior and fostering an entitlement mentality. All of which damages your company’s culture, spirit, productivity, profitability and competitiveness."
This might be true of some employees in some companies, but most of us have encountered many more reasons causing poor employee attitudes than "self-absorbed employees and lousy bosses."
I used to teach a workshop on Attitude for state government employees. It was a fun class with lots of "ah ha's" going on, but it was also one of the most challenging subjects I ever taught. One of the requirements SHOULD have been that employees attend with their supervisors, but I wasn't able to pull that off. That would have helped on more than one occasion, for sure!
One day I had a grumpy, middle-aged gentlemen sitting in the back. His chair was tipped back against the wall and his hands were behind his head as if to say, "OK, just try to fix my attitude!" You might guess -- his boss sent him to my class that he obviously didn't want to attend. He was told that he must learn skills to change his poor attitude or he would be fired. This is no joke! At the first break, I had to escort the man out into the hall and call his supervisor. I asked that he be removed from the class because his negative behavior was disrupting the class. Yep, he won -- he got to leave the class!
I have no idea if or when he was discharged. After all, he was a government employee with years under his belt at a public servant, so he might have remained in his job until he reached retirement. That's a whole other subject I might tackle in another blog...
And sadly, I have no idea what triggered this employee's poor behavior (bad attitude) in my class. It might have been because of an ongoing issue with his job, his boss, or even that he was a burned-out caregiver for a terminally ill relative. He may have even been suffering from an illness himself. As managers and leaders, we have to be careful to protect our employees' privacy, but sometimes it helps to just reach out and show the person some compassion. I wish I had the opportunity to do so with this gentleman, but the situation just didn't lend itself to it. I had to protect the environment of the class for the rest of the participants to learn the skills they felt important enough to take the day off from their regular jobs to learn.
Much psychology goes into successful leadership.
Understanding adults and what make them tick, is a plus. Understanding the theories behind DiSC tells us that people are similar in some ways and very different in many others. We act and react differently to our environment and communication -- verbal and non-verbal.
For instance: If you want to see a High "D" Low "C" react negatively [perceived: poor attitude], just keep spewing details without taking a breath. She's jumped to the solution way before you mentioned the type of creamer in your coffee that day. She doesn't really care how you take your coffee. She wants you to get to the bottom line of your issue so she can guide you in figuring out the problem. Or if you want to frustrate a High "C" who needs lots of details to make an informed decision, tell him only the high level information, no details. You'll get your answer, but it might come with a huff and scowl.
As leaders, I hope we give all our employees the benefit of the doubt.
Most people want to do their best for our companies. Most leaders want to do a good job, too. Perhaps we see negative behavior (poor attitudes) not because of self-absorbed employees or lousy bosses, but rather because of a myriad of underlying issues that we simply need to uncover and try and resolve.
TBD Consulting has a 21-year, proven track record for ensuring employee performance improvement which translates to employee performance success. Whether you need help developing an in-house training organization, create a Lean Academy, or simply need "extra hands" to meet your deadlines or ROI goals, please contact Jonena. She and her qualified staff are here to assist you with your organizational development, coaching and training initiatives.
Corporate Office 602-263-1961. Email Jonena today!