Five bad attitudes you do not want to become known for at work

Everybody has bad days or bad moments. But, even if you are not feeling it today, make sure you don’t wear your bad feelings on the outside. There are five common bad attitude behaviors to avoid.

1. The Porcupine

Porcupines say, with either words or body language, “Get away from me!” They want others to avoid them or leave them alone. Don’t force yourself to be cheerful or bubbly. But keep it professional. Be approachable and open to communicating about the work.

2. The Entangler

Entanglers want everybody else to be involved in their (often personal) issues. It’s easy to become an entangler, without even noticing, in workplaces that are particularly social. But if you find yourself relying on work as a place for support and attention, take a step back and remember: work is about the work.

3. The Complainer

Complainers point out the negative symptoms of a situation. But they also do so without offering solutions or next steps. Instead, be known as a troubleshooter.

4. The Blamer

Blamers are close cousins of complainers. They also point out negative symptoms, like a complainer, but blamers point the finger at specific individuals in an effort to “solve” the problem. Focusing everyone’s problem-solving energy on the concrete actions of the work itself, rather than individuals, will lead to change that improve future results.

5. The Stink Bomb Thrower

Stink bomb throwers make sarcastic (or worse) remarks, curse under their breath (or aloud), or even make loud gestures such as slamming doors. If you are a stink bomb thrower reading this, I encourage you to make an effort to be generous. Offer your respect, commitment, hard work, creativity, or gratitude. Try it for a while and see how it affects your working relationships, or at least your attitude about them.

Want to read more? Check out Bruce Tulgan’s book — The Art of Being Indispensable at Work

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Bruce Tulgan is a leading expert on young people in the workplace and leadership and management. He is a best-selling author of twenty books, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer. His company, RainmakerThinking, is based in Hamden, CT. Bruce appeared recently on CEDF's Small Business As Usual podcast.

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