Your ability to do your work competently is based on your aptitude and skills. But the way in which you carry out your skills has a lot to do with your attitude. Your skills may not affect your attitude, but your attitude will definitely affect the way you perform your skills at work.
Attitudes are something that we develop over time; they are not just produced on the spot. They are emotional responses based on what we believe about something or someone. Maybe an event happened where you were treated wrongly by a coworker, supervisor, or a family member. As you processed this you formulated a belief about what happened. Whether good or bad, over time you formed an attitude about that particular person or event as you mentally and emotionally rehearsed this belief resulting from the hurt. Sometimes we don’t realize how deeply rooted these emotions are until something happens which sets them off. We can also take on attitudes as we observe other people’s manners and become accustom to them over time. This is true of the workplace, and if we are not careful we can adjust ourselves to live and work with the prevailing attitudes around us.
Though we often talk about having good attitudes, let’s look at just a few beliefs about our work that are sure to create a bad attitude in a matter of time:
- My work is spiritually meaningless; it is only worth a paycheck to me. Having this perspective about work can cause you to display the attitude that you really do not care about the circumstances around you, projecting an attitude of: “Don’t bother me, I am here just to do my work and go home.”
- Company leadership shows preference to certain individuals or groups. Well, there could be some truth to this, but responding wrongly to this kind of treatment could affect our work performance; it can actually be detrimental to our relationships with coworkers. So, do we just let it slide and ignore such attitudes? No! Because Christians are called to show fairness and compassion to people around them at work, mirroring Christ’s character.
- Everyone is only in it for themselves, so why should I care about anyone except myself? With today’s problems in the workplace, this belief is like a subtle undetected virus, and it permeates many a workplace. It shows itself when we respond to things considering only our own interests and no one else’s. We may even put on a spiritual guise, making it look like we are defending important issues, but in reality it is to promote our own interests first and foremost.
Attitudes do affect your work and your relationships at work. Because attitudes determine your effectiveness at work, why not take an inventory of the prevailing attitudes around you at work, and the ones in your own heart? You may need to evaluate the underlying beliefs that have created these attitudes. Then ask yourself how they line up with the truth of God’s Word. Jesus said in John 8:32 that knowing the truth (right belief) will set you free. (PMC)