Exercise 9

You can really make a difference wherever you work, not just because you will take care of a certain percentage of the office workload, but with your attitude as well. When surveyed, many employers ranked an employee’s attitude as high as the amount of work he or she completed on a daily basis.

“Attitude” can be as simple as a smile and a cheery “Good Morning!” at the beginning of a workday. As simple as this sounds, you would be surprised at how few employees ignore this simple courtesy. Certainly, on not all days are you going to feel “on top of the world,” but before you start taking out how you might feel on your employer or fellow employees, put the shoe on the other foot.

How would you feel if you were starting out Monday, typing out an important report for your employer, and he bursts into the office with a sour look? He greets your “Good Morning!” with barely a grunt, then storms away and slams his door. More than likely, you would feel hurt, frustrated, and perhaps even angry that he took his problems out on you. Of course, what he is doing isn’t fair, but he isn’t thinking of being fair. He is only thinking of himself.

And that’s the point. He is only thinking of himself. His anger toward you has not alleviated his problem; in fact, it has made the day worse for you both. If he were to have thought of you and your feelings (especially since you probably had nothing to do with his “beginning of the week” ill humor), he might have swallowed his anger and greeted you in a more cordial manner. Of course, the reasons for his fury would still exist, but you would be more likely to offer help, rather than turn your back.

This scenario is reversible. You could be the angered one and your employer or other office staff be the recipients of your dark mood. All the same advice applies. Try to keep your anger from influencing your work and work-related relationships. Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes.