I have come across many a situation, both when I witness it first hand, and when I read up or hear about it in various media, how attitude influences the outcome of what people do, or are aiming or striving to do.

What is attitude?

Before we go any further, I think I should look at what we mean by attitude. One definition would be, a manner, disposition, feeling or position towards a person, thing or event, a tendency or orientation, especially of the mind, for example, a “can do” attitude.

Attitude can be positive or negative. Sometimes it can be influenced by the environment, or by situations one faces. Most of the time, it is possible to change one’s attitude.

A positive attitude can be developed.

It all starts from a belief in oneself, which in turn starts in identifying one’s strengths and weaknesses.

From there, we can identify situations where our strengths would be particularly useful, and then what we can do about our weaknesses, for example, can we do anything about the weaknesses we have identified, and if so, how can we turn these weaknesses around, so that they can be added to the list of strengths.

Potential benefits of a positive attitude at work

Positive attitude and less experience can often outweigh perfect qualifications with a less positive attitude.

Very often, just 30 seconds or so into an interview, an employer will make up his or her mind as to whether or not to hire an interviewee. That’s because a person’s attitude can easily be sensed by someone who knows what to look out for when evaluating attitude – things like how a person presented himself or herself. Did they pay attention to dress, outward appearance, or personal hygiene? What messages does their language, tone of voice, words, voice speed, and volume send out? Did they give a firm handshake or a “limp fish” handshake? Did they look the interviewer in the eye?

According to a study by Harvard University, there was an observation that when somebody gets a job following an interview, 85% of the time it is because of their attitude, and only 15% is because of their knowledge.

Just as it is possible to acquire a positive attitude, you can also learn the “techniques”, for want of a better word, for reading another person’s attitude.

There are numerous benefits that have been bandied about, from having a positive attitude, like:

  • Being able to deal with stress more easily
  • Gaining respect from your colleagues and your superiors.
  • Fostering mutual respect
  • Positive effect on relationships inside and outside work
  • Motivation and drive to push oneself that little bit harder to strive to achieve a certain goal
  • Finding it a little bit easier to look for solutions instead of wasting one’s energy in focussing on the problems
  • Bolstering one’s self-esteem
  • Helps constructive and creative thinking

I must stress that this is not an exhaustive list.

One more observation…

If we were to assign values to each letter of the alphabet, depending on their position in the alphabet, for example, A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, all the way up to Y = 25 and Z = 26, and then add up the values assigned to each letter in a word, then:

KNOWLEDGE = 11 + 14 + 15 + 23 + 12 + 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 = 96

HARD WORK = 8 + 1 + 18 + 4 + 23 + 15 + 18 + 11 = 98

But …

ATTITUDE = 1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21 + 4 + 5 = 100