A positive attitude makes work and life more rewarding. Good things seem to happen to people with positive attitudes.
Because they seem to be full of energy and enthusiasm, positive people are fun to be with. On the other hand, negative colleagues can make work a challenge for their co-workers and even themselves.
Your attitude says a lot about you. Employers recognize the importance of a positive attitude, and often "hire for attitude and train for skills."
Being positive at work isn't only about showing enthusiasm—it's also about having positive work habits and behaviours. Positive employees show up on time, take pride in doing tasks well, show initiative, manage risks, and act honestly and ethically.
You may spend up to 40% of your waking hours at work. Since your attitude goes a long way toward making work a pleasure or a pain, it makes sense to take a positive attitude with you to work!
To find out how positive your attitude is, try the following quick quiz.
Take the quick attitude quiz
Beside each question, write the number for the response that best describes you most of the time. Work quickly and go with your first reaction.
Yes – 3 Sometimes – 2 No – 1
___ Are you dependable and responsible?
___ Do you respect other people's opinions?
___ Are you optimistic even when others are not?
___ Do you easily adapt to new and unexpected situations?
___ Do you try not to complain?
___ Do you respect other people’s beliefs?
___ Do you speak positively about your employers and teachers?
___ Do you become negative when things don’t go your way?
___ Do you feel well most of the time?
___ Are you the kind of friend you want others to be?
___ Do you follow directions well and ask questions when necessary?
___ Can you disagree without being disagreeable?
___ Do you organize your work and keep up with it?
___ Are you a courteous driver?
___ Do you take responsibility for your mistakes?
___ Do you usually speak positively about others?
___ Is it easy for you to like most people?
___ Can you accept criticism without feeling hurt or resentful?
___ Can you stick to a boring task?
___ Do you generally see the bright side of things?
___ Do you recognize your weaknesses and try to correct them?
___ Can you work with someone you dislike?
___ Do you avoid feeling sorry for yourself?
___ Are you usually enthusiastic about whatever you do?
___ Do you follow the basic rules of politeness, such as saying “please” and “thank you”?
___ Are you polite even when you’re unhappy?
___ Is your personal appearance and grooming appropriate for your workplace?
___ Are you interested in the interests of others?
___ Are you honest and sincere?
___ Do you keep your promises?
___ Are you friendly?
___ Can you handle being teased, when it’s appropriate?
___ Do you control your temper?
___ Are you a good listener?
___ Are you usually punctual?
Scoring: Add up your score. With 35 questions, the highest possible total is 105. Check the ratings below.
95–105: Terrific! You really are a positive person.
75–94: Well done. Your positive attitude will take you far.
45–74: Be aware that you are a bit negative sometimes.
Less than 45: Try to improve your attitude, especially in the areas where you responded with a 1.
Have a positively good day
Here are a few tips for staying positive all day long:
- Start your day by looking for something good that is happening. It may be the sun shining, a bird singing, a refreshing drink of water or your pet showing its affection for you.
- Choose your attitude for the day. Focus on the good.
- Give someone an unexpected compliment.
- Ignore the bad drivers on the road.
- Really listen to what people are saying and focus on understanding them.
- Read biographies and see the challenges others have overcome.
- Help someone.
- Explore your spiritual life.
- Before going to sleep, review your day and note the small positive things that happened.
Discover the value of a positive attitude
A positive attitude lets you find satisfaction in every aspect of your life. It can be the difference between success and failure. Your positives will help you:
- Adapt to change
- Find work and keep it
- Build your career
- Balance your lifestyle
- Make the most of learning opportunities
- Create more satisfying relationships
People aren't born with attitudes. Attitudes are based on what you’ve learned and experienced, and affect the way you think, act and feel. This means you can get rid of a negative attitude that does not support you and replace it with a positive one that does.
A positive attitude in the workplace has a positive effect on co-workers and customers. Put your positive attitude to work for you.