Fix Workplace Attitude Problems by Focusing on Values

Do you or someone you work with suffer from a case on the Mondays…all week?  Do they have a disruptively negative attitude? Have they “checked out”?

Here at Cleaver, we help leaders work with what is ubiquitously known as “attitude problems” (their own or their team’s) quite a bit in our development coaching.  While sometimes it seems silly to worry about attitude problems when dealing with adults in business, the truth is that attitude – though hard to quantify – has very real consequences on individual and organizational success.

But instead of focusing on attitude, we focus on Values.

Not values in the intangible, aspirational sense.  But instead as a measurable concept we call Motivating Values.

Motivating Values are a core part of the Cleaver DISC Profile.  While the Cleaver DISC measures behavior as it relates to work, our Motivating Values tool – which draws on the values research done by Allport-Vernon – helps quantify what we call the six primary values for any individual.

The six primary values we utilize are: Theoretical, Economic, Social, Political, Regulatory, and Aesthetic. Our tool requires an individual to force-rank these values through a series of questions, and the resulting report tells us not only the priority of these values for the individual, but also the relationship the values have to each other.

We administer our Cleaver DISC assessments with the Motivating Values tool because of the strong link between behavior and values.  If behavior is the “how” of the things we do in the workplace, then the values can be seen as the “why” we do them.

When it comes to success in the workplace – as a leader, a manager, a salesperson, or any other role – understanding our values and the values of those we work with can be critical to impactful action development and effective change. After all, if we understand “why” we do something, can’t we understand how to frame growth in the most motivating light for ourselves and other?

However, understanding values can also provide the key to managing attitude, an arguably more powerfully pervasive element of our workplaces.

Attitudes can be defined as positive or negative feelings toward people, events, things, or environmental circumstances.

At their core, attitudes are based on values, and for the most part are either positive or negative, depending upon what is seen as having worth by the individual. Some simple examples are if a man values music his attitude toward music will be positive, if he values independence, his attitude towards restrictions and interference will be negative. Our attitudes may be favorable or unfavorable; specific or general; temporary or permanent; public or private; and common or individual.

Thus in order to fix those frustrating workplace “attitude problems,” we start by working to understand the values that are in play and educating the team around the impact of values.  Because once you understand the “why” of where someone is coming from, you can help reframe and re-communicate aspects of their roles, relationships, goals, etc. in the context of that why, which in turn can impact how they feel toward those situations or people.

So the next time you hear someone talk about having a case of the Mondays, ask them if they have 15 minutes to take a Cleaver DISC profile.

Attitude problem: solved.