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The "Be" Attitudes of Work and Life

By Ben Jolley / May 05, 2014

Stratetic value-2014-01-21Our attitudes can make or break any opportunity whether at work, home or play. If your attitude doesn’t add value to any project or opportunity, very little will help you be successful at achieving your desired goal. For example, I had a co-worker that I didn’t get along with and every meeting we were in together turned into an argument and ultimately we both decided we couldn’t work together. Thankfully, I had a manager pull me aside and suggest that I try something different – a change of attitude. He suggested that I separate my frustration and anger for this person from the situation. By stepping back and removing myself from the situation I realized that I was ignoring real issues simply because he brought them up. Clearly my poisoned attitude toward him wasn’t helping either of us succeed.

I have had the tremendous opportunity to serve as a city council member for the past eight years in my local community. It took a lot of attitude to stand up and run for public office, but I quickly learned that the right attitude was more important when people went to vote. Everyone I talked with whether at their door or on the street had a concern, but they all wanted the same thing — someone with a good attitude and a willingness to do something. They didn’t expect me to resolve the issue right there on the door step, but wanted it made known that something needed to be fixed.

How does this relate to our work? Solving issues and accomplishing goals requires the right attitudes at work. They aren’t always the same attitudes but a mixture of the right ones to solve the challenge ahead. By having the right attitudes good managers and employees, become great. Many of us already have these skills but sometimes getting the project done can run over the need to provide value through the right attitudes.

Think for a minute about a recent conversation at work or home that was challenging. I would dare say that if you and the other person would have better attitudes you may have experienced a different outcome or it would simply have helped the situation. But sometimes bad situations can create new opportunities to help us improve our attitudes. I wanted to share with you the following list of “Be” attitudes that have made the difference in my career:

  • Be proactive – always look for something new, unexpected or original to express imaginative approaches to telling the clients story
  • Be inquisitive — ask a lot of questions, but to the right people. Make sure you know who can provide the details needed to address your question.
  • Be engaged – listen to others needs and make recommendations when appropriate to meet those needs
  • Be excited – arouse curiosity and develop a positive attitude, this can be very contagious when working closely with others
  • Be valuable – focus on being the solution to problem, take the initiative for new projects and ideas
  • Be respectful/professional – apply the golden rule and check egos at the door
  • Be influential – convey confidence and be passionate about your work in order to become a trusted advisor