First Thing: Bad Attitudes Do NOT require you to get angry or upset or even to use violence. Bad attitudes are an employee's choice and our job is get them to look in the mirror and ultimately take action on what they truly see!
The biggest factor in changing an employee's behavior is a good attitude. Below are 6 ways to positively affect your team's attitude toward change.
- Have an employee read an article and write down two things they learned. This feeding of the mind can change the way they look at things if done consistently.
Have an employee observe another employee who exhibits the desired attitude and behavior. They should write down 3 things they noticed they need to do to get better.
- Reward and Recognize - Make sure when an employee does show signs of improvement you not only recognize but reward it. You can reward the desired behavior by simply sending a thank you email or leaving a card on their desk.
- Focus on the employee's performance strengths and really leverage those to ensure a "mental door" is open to the area of improvement. Build good will by acknowledging the good things. If you only heard negative or constructive feedback, ask yourself how long would you be open to feedback?
- Ask questions of how others may observe the way they are acting. For example, ask "What would someone new to the company say in describing how you're reacting right now"? The key is to really wait and let silence do its job. Do not say another word until they answer.
- Ask a rating question that prompts the employee to look at himself. For example, "On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being really positive and 1 not be very positive at all, how would someone describe your attitude toward this situation"? The key is to use their answer creatively. If they say 3 or 4 ask them what are you willing to do to move toward a five? The key is not to agree with their answer, rather the goal is to open the dialog to improve.
Attitudes and behaviors are critical to the development of people and the organizations they work for. Simply telling someone to change their attitude does not work. We have to prompt the change, reward effort when it shows, and continue to pursue opportunities when they present themselves.