The Power of Attitude

  • Published
  • By Col. Peter Brewer
  • 36th Medical Group
Success is an honored word in all organizations, no matter whether they are military or civilian. I believe that your success in any job is anchored solidly in your personal vision and values--in a word, your attitude. Look into any department that yields excellent customer satisfaction, high quality performance and a strong binding morale among its employees and you will find it...that common factor among the workers is their positive attitude.

Over the course of my military career I have seen how positive attitudes create a type of team synergy in the work environment. Each worker contributes an element of importance where the result equals more than the sum of the parts. In other words, although we have different personal visions and values, a positive attitude can guide the team's diversity into synergy that is creative and effective.

There is no question in my mind that an effective team, by its definition, consists of quality performers working together day after day resulting in the end product of increased customer satisfaction and organizational goal attainment. However, just like people, a team of employees can go through different stages of growth, development and even existence. So how do we maintain those positive attitudes?

Here are some simple guidelines I have found to be most helpful to ensure a positive attitude among employees.

1. Treat everyone with respect.
Sometimes we may have to work with or for someone we personally just do not like--yes it
happens, but you should respect them. Take the opportunity to realize that everyone on
the team can make contributions to help the organization. If this sounds too difficult, I
would suggest you spend some time looking at each individual's daily duties on your team.
I believe you will start to observe how the team, with all its abilities and ideas, will better
the organization. When there is respect for one another, Airmen will feel a sense of
cohesiveness and commitment not only toward each other, but to the organization's goals
as well. In this way, respect is the basis on which success can thrive in the workplace.

2. Remember that each Airmen's contribution is important.
Moreover, make sure each person in your work environment feels that he/she has an
opportunity to contribute. In the military our teams can encompass several different ranks.
Don't forget that even the most junior member has something unique to contribute.
Encourage and value everyone's contributions.

3. Be understanding.
Teams are made up of individuals. Be open to the fact that these individuals bring into the
workplace differences of opinions, beliefs, values and ideas. When working as a team,
remember you may dislike or disagree with an idea that arises, but never target the person.
By knowing this, Airmen will realize they work in an accepting environment where the
overall goal is the accomplishment of the mission through defined objectives and free from
personal attack.

4. Praise.
Take the time to praise what other team members have done to help the organization.
Praise reinforces great job performance.

It is through respect, valued individual contributions, understanding and praise for a job well done that a positive attitude can be maintained and even strengthened. The power of a positive attitude can be more important than external rewards and fringe benefits. It can sustain an employee through an organization's difficult times. A positive attitude sets the stage for the type of employee you want to be. You can see these positive attitudes in those people who are devoted and committed to their work. The real power of a positive attitude is that it is a major factor of dedicated employees who see their work as an essential contribution for the betterment of the mission...and that truly defines success.