Your attitude is likely holding you back

“I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude.”

I met with someone the other day who had a chip on his shoulder. He barged into my office, walked right up to my chair and leaned over me.  “I have been in this current position for seven years!  That is too long!  You need to give me a promotion!”

Or what?

I didn’t say it, but I thought it. This individual and I have been working off and on together for awhile.  He has potential.  However, he is also his own worst enemy.  We’ve had several meetings where I have pointed out behaviors and circumstances that have hurt his reputation and lowered his value to the organization.  I have tried to help him put together plans to improve (or manage around) those behaviors.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t made any changes.  He refuses to believe the problem could be with him.  He’s convinced the organization and I are to blame, and he regularly tells me how I should change my behavior and manage him differently.

Now, I am very interested in improving my own performance and try to be open to constructive feedback.  I am very aware that I am not perfect and have many opportunities for improvement.  Your supervisor (or organization) may as well.  But remember, this is not about your supervisor.  It is about you.  If you are stuck in your current position, stop looking outside of yourself for the answer.  If you don’t consider you could be responsible for the problem, then you will probably remain stuck.

The bottom line is this.  If you catch yourself making “Them versus us” statements about your team or administration, demanding things from your organization or supervisor, or saying things like “he should be doing this” or “the organization has to do this”, your attitude is likely the problem.

The best advice I can give is this… If you are stuck, adopt an attitude of questioning humility.  Take 100% responsibility for your current situation. Ask your supervisor and any coaches or mentors you have what you can do to increase your value to the organization (what do you mean you don’t have coaches or mentors?!?).  Then, either take that information and use it to make changes, or put your resume together and go job hunting.

Don’t play the victim.  Don’t blame others.  Change your attitude, and see what changes you can make.  You might be surprised at the result.

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