As a contract service provider, I go into organizations and do the work, whether it’s leading a team or defining strategy, setting up processes and systems, or creating and managing content. No matter who my client is, I have two primary goals:
- To make my client shine.
- To make my client’s life easier.
If I can do those two things, I consider the project a success. I make the client shine by creating significant results. High-quality deliverables always help a client look good in front of his/her audience, whether it's internally, externally or both. And having a good attitude makes my client's life a lot easier.
I’ve noticed that some employees (not you, of course) seem to have a completely opposite mindset. Their priorities are:
- To make themselves shine.
- To make their lives easier.
Look, I’m fully aware that this isn’t the mindset of every employee or of every contractor. This is my take on it, and I’m making observations based on my experiences. See if you notice any of these behaviors from your employees or co-workers:
- They may be good at the technical side of things, but they have stinky attitudes.
- They’re self-involved and are not pleasant to be around.
- They don’t want to take responsibility for their duties, so they blame others and find excuses for not doing the work.
- They’re resistant to direction and/or correction.
- They don’t have the slightest clue what professionalism is.
I’ve seen clients spend way too much time dealing with these employees. The clients waste enormous amounts of energy staying on them to do their jobs, playing mediator when they clash with other staff members, helping them work on their bad attitudes and more.
When I see this, I think, “What a liability! Why are you allowing one person to wreak such havoc on the entire staff? On productivity? On morale?” It's shocking how much stress one person can inflict on co-workers and the entire work environment.
As for the difficult employee, I’m baffled about where this high sense of entitlement comes from.
Making the Shift
If you saw even a little bit of yourself in the comments above, then maybe it's time to consider changing your mindset. The way you think is just a habit and you can change it, if you choose. Here are a few things to focus on when making a change:
1. NOTICE. Noticing your thoughts during the day is the first step. You can't change anything if you're not aware it exists, right? So make a decision—right now—to start paying attention to what's going on in your gray matter. Because those thoughts are the basis for what you believe about yourself and others.
2. ASK. When something happens, ask yourself why. When I notice myself reacting (or overreacting) to a situation or a particular person, I ask myself, "What's that about?" because I want to determine the root cause of my response.
Maybe that person was rude to me a couple of days ago, and I'm still annoyed. Maybe he slacks off. Maybe she's a gossip. Maybe my boss is asking me to do something that's not "officially" in my job description. Maybe I just didn't sleep well and now I'm cranky.
Taking a few seconds to ask yourself what you're thinking is one of the nicest things you can do for you. It will pay off big time, as long as you take an action, even if it's a small baby step.
3. ACT. Mel Robbins (one of my favorite authors and speakers!) talks about taking action in this video. Watch through Rule 1 (about three minutes); the entire video is about 30 minutes and is packed full of excellent tips. You can 54321 yourself into a new thought life that helps you get an improved perspective about your work...even if you hate your job. Action results in positive changes to get you out of your thinking rut and onto a richer, more enjoyable path at work.
Bottom line: When your boss shines, you shine. People are observing your attitude and behavior daily. Your boss may not say anything to you, but you're definitely being noticed. Why not be proactive and start cleaning up your act? You never know when the next promotion, raise or special project is coming along—wouldn't it be nice to be in the running for it?
Get moving on upgrading those thoughts, and let me hear your feedback on my Facebook page.
Be #True, and have a Refreshing and Productive Day!