We’ve all had team members who seem to be uninterested in working. They hesitate to take initiative and seem very unenthusiastic about trying new things. We often excuse them by saying, “That’s just how they are.”

But ask yourself: would you want someone like that on your team? Or would you like to be that person with a bad attitude who no one wants to work with?

Certainly not. Having a positive, can-do approach to work is an important part of being a professional. The right attitude can help you stay motivated and work hard. Your attitude at the workplace can influence your productivity as well as how your colleagues see you. In short, it can make or break your career.

Let’s see how attitude matters in professional settings and learn about the different types of attitudes in the workplace.

Understanding Attitude

A person’s attitude comprises their beliefs, emotions and behaviors towards an object, person, thing or event. Attitudes can be shaped by one’s experiences and upbringing. Attitude is a topic of interest among social psychologists as it is rooted in psychological components such as:

  • Affective Component: 

How someone feels about an object, issue, event or person

  • Behavioral Component: 

How someone’s attitude towards something influences their behavior

  • Cognitive Component: 

How someone’s attitude helps them form thoughts and beliefs about something

In a nutshell, attitudes involve a complex organization of our feelings, beliefs and tendencies towards particular actions. They express how much we like or dislike something or someone. Researchers have identified different types of attitudes in psychology. Read on to find out what they are.

Different Types Of Attitudes

Did you know that our attitude isn’t fixed, but it changes with circumstances and needs? Moreover, several factors such as one’s experience, social norms and conditioning lead to various types of attitudes. Here are the four kinds of attitudes that influence the way people look at the world:

  1. Positive Attitude

A positive attitude involves having a positive mindset and thinking about the greater good irrespective of what the situation is. It helps you to accept your strengths and weaknesses and stay resilient. A positive attitude is instrumental in academic and professional success. When someone has a positive attitude, they often display confidence, optimism, happiness, reliability and flexibility.

For example, Anil’s manager gives him constructive feedback on his performance in a recent high-stakes project. If Anil has a positive mindset, he will thank his manager and work on the areas that need improvement.

  1. Negative Attitude

A negative attitude prevents people from looking at things with hope or happiness. It’s the opposite of having a positive mindset. Many times people face adverse circumstances that make them adopt a negative attitude towards life. Constantly feeling negative can affect one’s mental and physical well-being.

Identify negative attitudes by labeling your emotions and monitoring your feelings. Anger, frustration and self-doubt are a few common symptoms. Reach out to a friend or consult a professional if you’re unable to resolve your negative feelings on your own.

  1. Neutral Attitude

People with a neutral attitude often remain complacent and self-satisfied. You can gauge a neutral attitude by identifying its various symptoms—not showing emotions or reacting to situations, letting things work out on their own and being indifferent to challenges. One of the most unique types of attitudes, neutrality has its advantages and disadvantages. While it can help you maintain stability in the face of setbacks, it can also make you feel detached from other people and from your goals.

If you feel you have a neutral attitude at work, try to make an attitude change and embrace positivity.

  1. Sikken Attitude

Sikken is one of the most complicated types of attitudes. It reflects a constant state of negativity and aggressiveness. It’s difficult to navigate this type of attitude since it’s rooted in one’s personality, and is very tough for people to change their viewpoint substantially.

However, it’s not impossible to make constructive changes. Someone with a sikken attitude simply has to make more of an effort to change.

Importance Of Attitude In The Workplace

You need to be wary of the different types of attitudes in organizational behavior. The good thing about someone’s attitude is that it is not permanent. Even if circumstances have made someone adopt a negative outlook, they can always learn to embrace a positive attitude. Let’s look at the benefits of developing a positive attitude in a professional setting:

  • You take more responsibility and find meaning in your work, so your productivity increases.

  • You appreciate diverse viewpoints and are enthusiastic about teamwork, so you are a skilled collaborator.

  • You focus more on opportunities and less on mistakes so you learn from failure and are motivated to move forward.

Here are some effective tips that will help you embrace a positive outlook:

  • The first step is to identify what you want to change. You need to evaluate yourself and pinpoint exactly where you’d like to improve.

  • It’s always helpful to reduce interaction with people who have a pessimistic outlook and talk negatively about things. Choose the right company or look for a role model who has a positive outlook.

  • Believe that you have the capacity to change. Think about how your attitude can be improved, and make a conscious effort to do it.

Since external factors influence various types of attitudes, it’s beneficial to understand your environment before you start making changes. Harappa Education’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you how to understand your position in your organization or any professional setting. The Culture Fit tool will equip you to evaluate and understand the workplace culture. The Power Structures Framework will help you understand the types of authority people hold and how best to navigate them. Understand your immediate environment before trying to change your inner self!


Explore topics such as What is Conflict, Types of Conflict & Workplace Challenges from Harappa Diaries and deal with conflicts & challenges at work efficiently.

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