5 attitudes that could be holding you back at work

5 attitudes that could be holding you back at work

While it is true that employers hire applicants based on their knowledge of the job and their skills, companies also prefer hiring individuals with a positive attitude. Someone who is forward-looking, good-natured, and dedicated to problem solving generally makes a more effective employee than one who is a complainer, a critic, or someone who passes the blame. Here are some common attitudes that may be interfering with your efforts to be successful at work.


A take-charge employee is often welcome at many companies. This type of personality can quickly identify and prioritise the issues that need to be addressed for progress. However, someone who is constantly trying to take charge beyond his or her boundaries as well as telling others how to do their job may provoke resentment rather than appreciation. A better approach is to offer assistance to someone who may need it rather than trying to impose your personal approach that may not be welcome.


A manipulative attitude may include attempts to be conniving in orchestrating things at work to go that person’s way. For example, the manipulator may try to coerce other employees to handle certain tasks so he or she can get the preferred ones. Manipulators sometimes distort the facts to represent an event in their favour. When discovered, the person can quickly lose favour with colleagues and supervisors and possibly be disciplined or receive training in collegial behaviour.


Technically, discrimination in all its forms is illegal as well as unethical in the workplace. However, some people find ways to project bias while trying to hide it. They might choose certain individuals to join their task force or committee while overlooking others who are suitable but unwanted by the biased person. This may be a subtle snub and hard to prove, but if evidence exists that qualified people were passed over because you didn’t feel they could do the job, the bias may be recognised and disciplined.


A person who pretends to be one way around employees but another way when making decisions that impact them may be accused of being superficial. Being nice to someone and then gossiping behind their back is another example. Some employees try to impress their supervisors with gifts or working overtime, but their laxity in other areas raises concerns and negative perceptions. People respect those who honestly represent themselves consistently rather than projecting a false front or façade.


An attitude of carelessness will quickly be noticed and may lead to coworkers’ avoidance and supervisors’ distrust. Negligence on the job can be risky for many reasons. It makes the department or company look bad, it may lead to accidents, and it puts you in a bad light for possible bonuses or promotion. For these and other reasons, it is important and ethical to always do your best work with a careful attitude.

These questionable attitudes and others can be easily adjusted to improve job performance and enhance your professional reputation. Reflect on your dominant attitudes at work to see if anything should be changed or improved.

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