What’s an Attitude? How do I get one? Outline/Objectives Define attitude. Types of attitude. What influences attitude. Coping with those with an attitude different than your own. By Definition A complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways. (Princeton University) There’s more… (1)The arrangement of the parts of the body posture; (2a)a mental position with regard to a fact or state (b) a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state; (3) an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept or situation). (Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary, 3rd Edition) And Still More… (1) Position of the body and limbs. (2) Manner of acting. (3) Social or clinical psychology-a relatively stable and enduring predisposition to behavior or react in a certain way toward people, objects, institutions, or issues. (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, 28th Edition) For today/our definition A virus that can be contagious. Has a needleless cure. Can be modified, the easy or the hard way. Has identifiable strands/warning signs. Bad Strands of the Attitude Virus The Tea Pot: blows his lid. The Mr./Ms. Universe: wields quality like a weapon. The Resistant Strand: threatened by change. The Not-My-Jobber: narrow views block .progress. The Rumor Monger: spreads stories everywhere. The Uncommitted: simply does not care. Chicken Little: always expects the sky to fall. (adapted from Curing Negativity in the Workplace, 2nd Edition) Additional No-Name Strands Not a team player Does the minimum Disrespectful Insubordinate Always negative Unhappy Pessimistic Unpleasant Additional Strands (con’t) Offers no solutions Surly Tardy Gossipy Clock Watcher Prima donna Defensive Argumentative Additional Strands (con’t) Work to Rule Abrasive Rude Confrontational Disruptive Inflexible Sarcastic (de Jager, 2005) Consequences Erosion of team spirit. Morale suffers, feelings get hurt Poor quality service, reputation suffers Frustration on the part of others because they have to pick up the slack The virus spreads Communication suffers More Consequences Productivity suffers Management has to crack down because of perceived dissatisfaction, paranoia ensues. (Peter deJager is a keynote speaker on Change Management issues) The Good News Attitudes may either influence behaviors, or be influenced by behaviors. The Bad News There is no pill. The Official Theories on Attitudinal Change (Vaccines) Persuasive Communication Works Balance Theory Cognitive Consistency Cognitive Dissonance Planned Behavior Congruity Theory Persuasive Communication Changes in attitudes can result in the absence or presence of rewards. Acceptance or resistance to an attitude or opinion is dependent on the incentives/rewards that are offered in communication with those involved. (Hovland, Janis & Kelly, 1953) Balance Theory When beliefs are unbalanced, the is a disruption in equilibrium of a system and then pressure to change attitudes. The two main factors that affect balance are sentiment (liking, approving, admiring) and unity (similarity, proximity, membership). (Heider, 1958) Consistency/Dissonance People will try to maintain consistency among their beliefs and make changes when this does not occur. (Abelson, 1968) Attitude change is caused by conflict among beliefs. Planned Behavior Attitudes influence behavior along with two other factors: - Perceptions of social norms - Beliefs about one’s personal ability to perform a specific behavior. (Diclemente and Crosby, 2002) Congruity Theory Assumes attitudes are simplistic and tend toward extremes (proven false). Assumes that if a liked and disliked object become related, the feeling toward both will become more neutral. (Osgood and Tannen, 1960) Creating a Positive Attitude in the Workplace (Vaccine) Lead/teach/support by example-be a new positive cure. For yourself or others, your voice, both internal and external needs to be that of an antibody. Don’t support or listen to whining (Mount Serat example). Try to find the positive for everyone. Dump the drama-all it does is sell copies (or in this case, spread the germ). Creating a Positive Attitude in the Workplace Recognize, support and teach quarantine procedures (time-out). Discourage retro-virus submission (live in the now-Alice in Wonderland Analogy). Promote anti-viral acknowledgements (list the 10 best things about working here) Take your vitamins (get pumped up). Smile and be happy (you did not need a shot). TIPS for Improving Your Own Attitude Don’t associate with people who have hostile attitudes, you might get infected (water and vinegar analogy). Remember other patients (coworkers). Practice optimism and positive self-talk (inner voice). Dwell on positives. Maintain perspectives/choose battles carefully. Tips (con’t) Give others the benefit of the doubt. Become a problem-solver. Be alert. Utilize self-control. Mange stress. Stay physically healthy Empathize Job Tips Look for creative ways to make tasks more interesting. Try sharing or trading tasks-tedium v. challenge. Ask for more responsibilities. Adjust your schedule to best mange boredom. Look for a alternatives. What Can EAP Counselors Do? Educate regarding appropriate attitude Teach by coaching, role play Provide positive reinforcement Help identify triggers to the “attitude” and help with coping skills to combat the situation. What Can You Do? 1. First and foremost-be honest with yourself. 2. Recognize warning signs (negative thoughts, blaming behavior, pessimism). 3. Use positive affirmations. 4. Visualize your day before it begins. 5. Write down your goals. 6. Put your head in the game and focus. What Can You Do? (con’t) 7. Think about a successful person you admire. 8. Avoid naysayers who shoot you down. 9. Practice, practice, practice. References Diclemente, R. J., and Crosby, R.A. (2002) The Gale Group Inc., Macmillan Reference USA, New York, Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2002. www.crmlearning.com; Attitude Virus: Curing Negativity in the Workplace, 1/5/07. Brandi, J. (2007). Creating a Positive Employee Attitude in the Workplace. The Sideroad. Ontario: Blue Boulder Internet Publishing. Abelson, R. (1968). Theories of Cognitive Consistency Theory. Chicago: Rand McNally. Heider, F. (1959). The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: Wiley. Hovland, C., Janis, I., & Kelley, H. (1953). Communication and Persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Triandis, H. (1971). Attitude and Attitude Change. New York: Wiley. De Jager, P. (2005). The Consequence of Attitude. www.technobility.com.
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