Fishing for the Right Attitude: Don’t Miss the Boat! Amy W. Boykin Alicia Willson-Metzger February 13, 2008
We begin With a story!
The Basics • Why do we notice bad attitudes at work? • What does a bad attitude look like? • What is your attitude at work?
Why Do You Need to Know? • For your health • People are watching you – children and other impressionable ones, including your boss • So you can make changes – if necessary
Bad Attitude at Work? • Talking about the boss • Gossiping • Clocking in late • Calling in sick often • Lying • Dixie Lee Wright, 2004 (www.mycvbuilder.com)
Bad Attitude at Work? • Using bad language • Dirty clothes • Back talking • Customer complaints • Comments on your attitude • Dixie Lee Wright, 2004 (www.mycvbuilder.com)
Bad Attitude at Work? • Abusing the telephone • Leaving early • Refusing to help a coworker • Breaking rules • Making fun of coworkers • Criticizing the work of others • Dixie Lee Wright, 2004 (www.mycvbuilder.com)
Self Assessment • Test yourself • Queendom – www.queendom.com/tests/ • Tickle – web.tickle.com • Mindgames – www.psychtests.com/mindgames/ • Human Metrics – www.humanmetrics.com • Chatterbean – www.chatterbean.com/quiz_guide/phd_personality_tests.php • No matter the generation you find yourself in …
Generational Theory • Different generations have wholly differing perceptions of work ethic, rewards and perks, etc. • Many researchers examining generational theory: • Howe and Strauss: Millennials Rising; Millennials and Pop Culture • Lancaster and Stillman : When Generations Collide: Who They Are, Why They Clash, How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work
Generations at Work • Veterans: Born 1922-1943 (52 million) • Baby Boomers: Born 1943-1960 (73.2 million) • Gen Xers: Born 1960-1980 (70.1 million) • Millennials: Born 1980- (69.7 million to date) “Generations at Work: A Candid Snapshot of the Generations…and Their Differences,” 2007, http://www.amanet.org
Generational Core Values • Veterans: Dedication, sacrifice, hard work, honor, respect for authority • Boomers: Optimism, team orientation, involvement, personal growth • Gen Xers: Global thinking, informality, techno-literacy, pragmatism • Millennials: Confidence, civic duty, diversity, sociability “Generations at Work: A Candid Snapshot of the Generations…and Their Differences,” 2007, http://www.amanet.org
Generational “Clashpoints” • Career Goals • Traditionalists: “Build a legacy.” • Baby Boomers: “Build a stellar career.” • Generation Xers: “Build a portable career.” • Millennials: “Build parallel careers.” • Lancaster and Stillman. When Generations Collide.
Generational “Clashpoints” Feedback • Traditionalists: “No news is good news.” • Baby Boomers: “Feedback once a year, with lots of documentation.” • Gen Xers: “Sorry to interrupt, but how am I doing?” • Millennials: “Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button.”
Generational Personality • Veterans: Conformers, conservative spenders, past-oriented and history-absorbed, logical • Boomers: Driven, soul-searchers, willing to “go the extra mile” • Gen Xers: Self-reliant, risk-takers, skeptical, need sense of balance between work and personal life • Millennials: Tenacious, collective-action friendly, optimistic about the future “Generations at Work: A Candid Snapshot of the Generations…and Their Differences,” 2007, http://www.amanet.org
Motivational Tips • Veterans: Personal interaction important, honor work with plaques, certificates, etc. • Boomers: Public recognition, perks with status, ask for their input • Gen Xers: Assign lots of projects: let them prioritize and juggle; give constant constructive feedback • Millennials: Be a mentor, don’t dismiss their opinions because they’re young, provide continuing ed. opportunities “Generations at Work: A Candid Snapshot of the Generations…and Their Differences,” 2007, http://www.amanet.org
And After You’ve Figured Out … The best way to deal with all those pesky people at work …. How can you change your own attitude for the better?
Ways to Improve the Attitude • Look for creative ways to make your current tasks more interesting • Schedule your work to best manage routine or tedious tasks – if possible, group low energy tasks together for a time when your work energy is low • Ian’s Messy Desk (www.ismckenzie.com)
An Attitude Fix • Stretch; take a break • Work on something else for a while • Look out a window; get a glass of water • Take a short walk; get some fresh air • Go out to lunch • Say something nice to someone • Volunteer to help a coworker • Dixie Lee Wright, 2004 (www.mycvbuilder.com)
Tips for Increasing Optimism • Don’t try to repress negative thoughts • Make a solid plan for either changing or dealing with your situation. • Listen carefully to your self-defeating thoughts, and then argue against them. • “Team vs. Individual Orientation” (humanmetrics.com)
Tips for Increasing Optimism • View setbacks as short-lived. • Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies. • REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM. • “Team vs. Individual Orientation Test” (humanmetrics.com)
Who Moved My Cheese? • Three things to remember: • Change is unavoidable • Ability to adapt = key to success • Attitude is important • Spencer Johnson’s book by the same title
The Handwriting on the Wall • Change happens! (They keep moving the cheese). • Anticipate change. (Get ready for the cheese to move). • Monitor change. (Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old). • Adapt to change quickly. (The more quickly you let go of the old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy the new cheese). • Change. (Move with the cheese).
The Handwriting on the Wall, continued • Enjoy change. (Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese). • Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again. (They keep moving the cheese).
Ask yourself…. • What do I need to let go of AND what do I need to move on to? • Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese?
Get Happier! • Train yourself • Focus on what’s right, successful, and more productive • Increase positive thinking, positive emotions, positive choices and decisions, positive habits – one thing at a time • Penelope Trunk (Brazen Careerist blog)
More Than a Positive Attitude • Questions to ask yourself • Does the present attitude serve me well? • What is the source of this attitude? • Where do I need to make a change? • Do I have the right resources to make the change? • Ke o agile (www.SelfGrowth.com)
Now what? • “People who take themselves less seriously are far more pleasant to associate with.” • Start small • Keep your eyes open – good things will happen, funny things will happen, be prepared to notice these! • Denise Morgan in Virginia Libraries
What About Fishing & Boating? • Oh, yes – the inspiration for it all • Play – Make their day • “Who are you being while you’re doing what you’re doing?” • Be present in the moment – count the blessings of right now. • Dr. Stephen C. Lundin, excerpted from “Fish! Tales”
Excerpt from “Fish Tales” • Consider how you are being perceived • While doing yard work • While mentoring someone • While listening during a staff meeting • While receiving feedback • While answering patron queries • Live wholeheartedly – and make a difference!
Take the Test! • Do you have a good job? • Answer four questions to see if you’re in the right job for your likes and temperament. • Maybe – “finding a job you like or turning a bad job into a good job might actually be totally under your control” …. • Penelope Trunk (Brazen Careerist blog)
Follow-Up CATS: Nine Lives of Innovation • Definition of a CAT • Every day human being who learns how to release his or her innovative potential … • A curious person • An invaluable … asset • Someone who likes FISH! but doesn’t necessarily eat fish (or go fishing!) • The future of civilization • Are you a CAT?
Your Stories? • Maybe you’ve got a strategy or a technique to share? • Do you try to change your attitude when you feel a bad ‘tude coming on? How? • Thank you!