[Episode 1] A-Z of Cultural Impact: A For Attitude
We regularly hear how having the right attitude at work is crucial. What does that actually mean? Attitude is distinct from skills or ability. They are a form of expression of one’s self. How one relates to others and their work is embedded in their attitude. It determines how efficiently one completes tasks and how one is perceived. It can have a direct impact on an individual's job performance, as well as the overall culture of an organisation.
A positive attitude contributes to a pleasant and supportive work environment, which can improve job satisfaction and lead to increased retention of employees. In organisations that cultivate good workplace attitudes among their employees, communication is more efficient, and teamwork and collaboration are more effective.
Not only is it beneficial to the organisation but also to individuals themselves. Employees who have good attitude are motivated and innovative, which reduces the level of fatigue and stress.
On the other hand, negative attitudes can create a toxic work environment and lead to high levels of turnover. For the individual, a negative attitude can lead to decreased morale and productivity.
In fact, based on a study by Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, she has found that there is a distinct relationship between attitude and performance at work. In her most recent study, it was shown that attitude is a stronger predictor of success than the IQ of a person.
According to Dweck, people either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset as their underlying beliefs. People that have a “fixed mindset” believe that they are who they are, therefore, they are not able to change their mindset no matter how hard they try. When they face challenges, they would often feel helpless and frustrated since it’s considered to be overwhelming for them with such a rigid mindset. People that have a “growth mindset” think they can get better by learning, adapting themselves to problems and solving obstacles that they face. Putting aside the significance of their intelligence, they outperform others since their mindset is flexible and not as rigid because they welcome difficulties and see them as a chance to grow.
How Can We Encourage A Positive Attitude in the Workplace?
In my recent employment with Cultural Impact, I have witnessed up close how Marie very gently encourages positive attitudes at work.
At Cultural Impact, it starts with an awareness of yourself; your wants and your own personal attitudes and behaviour. By having clarity on your preferences and way of being, you are more equipped to navigate the workplace. Additionally, an awareness of how people work around you can help you embrace change and this will allow you to adopt a positive attitude to be more inclusive.
A safe space is essential in galvanising positive attitudes. In my time at Cultural Impact, it has become clear that the environment is one of openness. The culture is one of collaboration, not dictatorship. We are able to express opinions freely and be heard without judgement. The level of comfort and psychological safety, where you feel safe to be yourself and say what you need to is something I find incredibly special and is integral to the success of the organisation.
A training tool that we use at Cultural Impact is Exchange Theatre. With Exchange Theatre you get immediate feedback on how you are perceived and how your behaviour impacts the workplace as well as the relationships with your colleagues. Exchange Theatre can also expose unconscious bias. It brings to light possible blindspots you have of the world and helps point out and identify your biases.
Aligning individual needs and aspirations with an organisation’s goals is the next step in boosting positive attitudes. Marie is clear in her direction of the organisation but has also provided a platform where she lets people, in their own capacity, decide how best to achieve those objectives. This trust that Marie has in her team empowers everyone to try their hardest.
I hope this has been of some help to you in this New Year. Though I must condition this post by telling you that we are a small team and the efforts that Marie has made to encourage positive attitudes were made under these circumstances.
We’ll see you next time for ‘B For Behaviour’.
Written by Farah Rani