MAKING THE MOST FROM YOUR "BAD ATTITUDE"Written by Mary Anne Hahn
To everyone who has ever been told at work that you have a "bad attitude," I have a little story I'd like to share that might make your day.
At age seventeen, I received my first job-related disciplinary action for my "attitude," simply because I wanted to go to a football game.
By that time I'd worked at fast food restaurant for over a year. I'd established myself as a reliable and hard worker, punctual, flexible and eager to learn new things. I never hesitated to come in when someone else called in sick, stayed late if needed, and tried my darnedest to be a model employee.
But I wanted badly to go to that football game. My high school's team would be facing its arch rival, which had soundly beaten us year before. Well in advance, I asked to have Saturday of game off. My manager said he'd see, but couldn't make any promises.
He ended up scheduling me to work that day anyway. Determined not to miss something that mattered so much to me, I took it upon myself to switch schedules with a co-worker. I made it to game (which we won, by way), confident that I had not let my place of employment down.
My manager saw it differently. As retribution, he took me entirely off work schedule for following week, a terrible price to pay for a kid who was saving half of every paycheck for college. Undaunted, I used free time to find another, better paying, part time job.
As it turns out, this was first in a series of work-related incidents over a span of 25 years in which I'd get singled out by bosses for having a "bad attitude." And for most of that time, I accepted that label, and felt I deserved it. Why else would it keep happening if it wasn't due to some character flaw that seemed to stymie any chance I'd have to succeed in working world?
Still, pattern concerned and baffled me, so I finally decided to analyze it. Had I ever been reprimanded for poor attendance or punctuality? No. Was I ever disciplined for failure to do job for which I'd been hired? Nada--in fact, I always tried to excel at everything I tackled. Did I rub co-workers wrong way? Not as a rule; I've made many friends in jobs I've held, a number of whom remain friends long after I moved onto other employment.
How To Get What You Want...From The People You Want It FromWritten by Kathy Gates
Successful feedback is usually associated with improving employee productivity, but feedback is not just for supervisor-employee relationships. Being able to deliver honest, constructive feedback is also vital to healthy relationships at home.
You give feedback to your children, spouse, friends, doctor, and even your hair stylist.
If you run a home based business, you also need to be able to give effective messages to suppliers, customers, marketers, and web-site designers, just to name a few.
Being unable to give feedback successfully could set you up for feeling taken advantage of, frustrated, under- appreciated, and overwhelmed.
Putting these methods into practice will help you provide honest communication that will protect your time and needs, yet even improve your relationships.
1. Successful communication requires that you get other person's full attention. Plan your discussion at a time when both parties can focus on situation. Asking your teenager to rethink way she's spending her money while she's got a rented movie and friends in other room is guaranteed to be ignored. Telling an employee to redo a report as you rush out to a meeting is almost always going to generate hurt feelings. Choose a quiet time, and schedule enough time so that you don't feel obliged to rush through conversation.
2. Successful communication is on-going, not an out of left-field ambush. When someone does something great, don't assume they know how you feel. Tell them! The same is true for when you need to correct a behavior. "May I make a suggestion" are very valuable words for an on-going dialogue of behavior.
3. Successful communication focuses on behavior, not personalities. People will always respond more readily to facts than fault-finding. Don't make it personal. Always avoid sarcasm or insults. Whether it's negative or positive feedback, connect it to specific examples, which will help take focus off individual and highlight behavior instead. Tell him exactly what he did that was not acceptable, or in reverse help him to continue appropriate behavior by praising his accomplishments.
4. Successful communication will motivate, not discourage individuals. We all feel need to hear from others how we are doing. It's a basis for communication and trust. A discussion resulting in an exchange of ideas and information is always a powerful motivator. Knowing what actions you want, what your goals are, and having a method to give them to you will motivate people to please you. Motivated people have specific goals and look for ways to achieve them, and efficiency is a natural result of that.