Nanki enjoys going to work every day. She gets along with her coworkers and her manager appreciates her work ethic.

This changes when Rohit joins the firm. Not only does he step on her toes, but also makes her do all his work. Nanki, who is an introvert, finds it hard to speak up and address this issue. Slowly, she begins to lose interest in work, becomes distant and is on the verge of quitting her job, until her manager intervenes.

Nanki’s manager, who has noticed the problem, speaks to both Rohit and Nanki. The manager asks Rohit to correct his negative attitude in the workplace or be prepared for the consequences.

Nanki’s situation isn’t uncommon in a professional setting. You or someone you know may have experienced something similar at work.

On the flip side, you may be the one displaying a negative attitude at work. So, let’s look at a list of negative attitudes and behaviors to see if you can identify them.

Negative Attitudes And Behaviors

Roman poet Ovid wrote, “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” What Ovid meant is that a little competition makes everyone want to perform better.

While healthy competition can motivate and inspire people, unhealthy competition can lead to a self-defeating and negative attitude.

Here’s a list of negative attitudes and behaviors in the workplace:

  1. Comparisons

Comparing ourselves to others is something we do more often than is healthy. Measuring your success and failure against others’ successes and failures can make you discount your achievements and hard work. A healthy mindset is one that can appreciate someone’s efforts without resorting to comparisons.

  1. Blaming Others

Blaming others for your mistakes is another negative attitude that we should be wary of. Sometimes you may not even realize you are doing it. You should be mindful of what you say in the workplace and how you say it. Every word has an impact. If something is amiss, always ask first before you take action. Clarifying doubts can solve a chunk of workplace problems.

  1. Self-Sabotaging Behavior

At work, you may face situations where you end up tarnishing your professional reputation. This may not be done on purpose, but your feelings, thoughts and emotions can often overshadow your best judgment. If you feel like you are not good enough to be in the organization, you may discredit any appreciation that comes your way. You may even turn cynical, which can lead to adverse results.

  1. Making Assumptions Or Judging Others

Bringing your biases to the workplace is unprofessional. Judging people based on their appearance, the way they dress or speak makes you look immature and impacts the work environment. You may offend someone with your words if you are not careful or sensitive while speaking to them. It’s important to be aware of the context before making an observation.

  1. Careless Work Ethic

Some of the effects of negative attitude in the workplace are carelessness, oversight and possibly significant business losses. Your attitude determines the quality of your work. If you are too casual about completing your work on time, you may affect someone else’s work. Tasks are often interdependent and you must be careful to not do something that harms your coworkers or the organization.

If you recognize some of these traits in yourself, don’t worry. You must learn from them. If you can will yourself to be more positive and approachable in the workplace, you will enjoy a more fulfilling professional life.

Examples Of Negative Attitude In The Workplace

We spend the majority of our day in the office or working with other people. Collaboration means that you have to get along with everyone, understand different perspectives and make room for different voices. But you will come across situations where someone is overlooked or someone’s gain stands between what is right and wrong. Here are a few examples of negative attitude in a professional setting:

  • Making careless mistakes like sending the wrong email or sharing an incorrect brief

  • Being rude to coworkers or senior management

  • Not taking responsibility for your mistakes

  • Skipping important meetings at work

  • Not being accountable for your decisions and their consequences

Negativity in the workplace can lead to a hostile work environment. It can keep you from achieving your goals, affect your relationships and lead to burnout at work.

Self-reflection and having healthy conversations can help you address negative attitudes in the workplace Harappa’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you about workplace principles and priorities that can guide you to circumvent office politics. Its section on culture fit and power structures will teach you to handle conflict, understand your work style and work well with others.


Explore topics such as What is a ConflictTypes of ConflictTypes of Attitude & Workplace Challenges from Harappa Diaries and deal with conflicts & challenges at work efficiently.

Related articles

Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation