Attitude is everything. How others perceive our emotional state affects how they interact with us. You may be having a negative impact on your relationships with your team members and not even know that it’s happening.
Not long ago I was giving an employee his annual performance review. It was a very positive interaction with an employee that I genuinely enjoy working with. At the end of the review, the employee shared some very candid feedback with me about my relationship with one of his coworkers.
He told me that the co-worker felt unappreciated my be. This co-worker never knew what version of me he would see his first thing in the morning – the happy-go-lucky version or the sour version.
No matter how hard this employee worked, or how much extra he gave he felt like I didn’t appreciate it. Why? Because I never said thank you and never told him what a good job he was doing.
At the end of receiving this feedback, I was a little speechless. I thanked the employee for his honesty and letting me know about this. I told him I would give it some serious thought and consider how I could change my approach.
This was an eye-opening experience for me. I was very grateful to this employee and his honesty. I was grateful that he felt comfortable enough to tell me the truth and that he said it in a way that was respectful of me and his coworker.
After receiving this feedback I re-evaluated how I was presenting myself and how I was engaging my team. And to my dismay, I realized that I had a lot of work to do.
So what did I do to improve my relationship, not just with this one employee, but my entire team?
First, I set to work improving my own attitude. Realizing that I quickly became irritated when I walked in to work to a bunch of problems I resolved to focus on the positive, on the things that were going good, first thing in the morning instead of the negative.
Second, I took a few minutes to clear my mind and check my emotional state before setting off out on the floor to visit with my team, making sure to hit the floor with a smile on my face instead of a grumpy look.
Third, I started to engage people on a personal level asking them how they were doing and genuinely listening to their problems taking the focus off of myself and my problems.
Finally, I began to make time every morning to find something to be grateful for and recognize the hard work that my team was doing. Now I look for opportunities to give recognition and always say thank you freely, genuinely, and frequently.
When one of your team mates has a bad attitude you need to look yourself in the mirror and see if you might be the reason why.
It isn’t easy admitting when you are creating the problems that are causing a member of your team to be dissatisfied with their work. But the sooner you recognized your issue the sooner you can get to work correcting it.
Be honest with yourself and with your team. Be grateful when someone on your team is honest enough to tell you the truth about yourself. Always show gratitude and respect for the work your team members do. Don’t let your problems become your team’s problems. Always put other people and their problems first.