My years of consulting with major companies have led me down interesting pathways which have cumulated into many fascinating experiences. Part of that fascination comes from watching individuals make career or business choices. Those choices have always fallen into two simple categories: 1) positive or 2) negative. In most cases, people usually choose negative choices over positive ones. Why? Usually a combination of things that starts with a person's upbringing, their own personal foundation or work environment.
In personal and business coaching, we sometimes need to reach past those combinations and put in place specific methods of operation our clients to follow in order to turn their choices from negative to positive. I start off with educating my clients that their challenged attitudes usually start with Distorted Thinking Styles.
Distorted Thinking Styles (DTS's)
DTS's are customary ways of thinking that eventually cause a misperception of a situation or event. Constant frustration can prompt Distorted Thinking Styles and challenged attitudes. When frustrated, thinking can become increasingly inflexible and may ultimately become distorted. Distorted Thinking Styles could account for 90% of the times you experience frustration.
Five Types of Distorted Thinking Styles:
Challenged Attitude Examples:
- Magnifying: Magnifying turns the consequences of an event into a catastrophe such as, "I'm going to be fired."
- Destructive Labeling: This is an extreme form of over-generalization, making someone or a particular situation totally negative.
- Imperative Thinking: Think of this as a list of inflexible rules about how you and others should act usually based on negative past experiences.
- Mind Reading: This attributes to motives that explain other people's actions toward a person or event.
- Divide and Conquer This happens because of over-magnification and wanting others to support a particular position. People who have DTS's have a tendency to garner support, usually creating a division within ranks or groups.
The following are actual examples I have heard from people who suffer from challenged attitudes and DTS's:
- It's not my job.
- But I have a college degree.
- The other department should have taken care of it.
- I have new responsibilities now so I can't do it.
- It won't work.
- It can't be done.
- They won't like it.
- You didn't consult with us first.
- My pay scale is less than the national average.
- Those other employees make a huge amount of money.
- Because I don't make more, I'm going to punish my team by only giving 50%.
- I just want to draw a check until something better comes along.
- My responsibilities keep changing.
- My perception is different than the companies.
- They make more money than I do.
- I am considered a bottom feeder.
- I did the research I should make more money.
- There is too much change.
- Nothing stays the same.
- I have no incentives.
- I have no growth possibilities.
- I want higher pay.
- I can't advance because of a political environment.
- I don't get any respect.
- I hope to get fired so I can collect unemployment.
As you can see, huge challenges are faced not only by the people that spoke these words, yet in the same spirit, corporations are challenged to find ways to help their employees or staffs have an environment that is positive and empowering.
So, ask yourself these questions? Are you one of those people with a challenged attitude? Do you lead a team or oversee a group of people that may feel and react like this? If so then I challenge you to implement the 7 Steps To Overcoming Challenged Attitudes.
- WORK on your personal foundation, namely in the Five Pillars of Attraction. Remember what F.R.E.S.H. stands for:
- F: Finances
- R: Relationships
- E: Environment
- S: Spirituality
- H: Health
Right now, write down one task for each of the Five Pillars (F.R.E.S.H.) that you can make an immediate improvement in.
- STOP listening to that little negative voice. Counter-punch the negative self talk with a substantial dose of positiveness.
- LOOK for alternative explanations. In many cases there could be hundreds of them, unfortunately when you are frustrated you are unable to see the forest for the trees - sometimes referred to as Frustration Tunnel Vision.
- MOODS are contagious, both positive and negative. Do something that will place you in a positive mood, such as a daily delicious habit or speaking with anyone that is known for having a positive attitude or mood.
- CONTROL your frustration. Speak slowly, breath deeply into your heart, choose to remain calm or excuse yourself from the discussion take a time out. Stop drinking caffeine.
- STOP looking out the rear view mirror when that big broad windshield is staring you in the face. Your vision of each event or situation is totally up to you. You can either choose to be negative or positive your choice. Or, you can either focus on your negative past or look forward into a positive future. Remember this quote: "Past failures don't equal current successes."
- WATCH with great care who you hang out with. My most favorite quote by Jim Rohn says "YOU become the average sum of the five people with whom you associate with." In regards to this powerful philosophy, ask yourselves these questions:
- Who am I around?
- What are they doing to me?
- What have they got me saying?
- Where do they have me going?
- What do they have me thinking?
- What do they have me becoming?
- Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?
Whether you are a corporation or an individual, dealing with attitude challenges by implementing this 7 Step Program indicates you are making the first leap from making negative choices to making choices that will certainly have a positive impact on yourself, co-workers and family members.
Chuck Bauer is an accomplished speaker and writer. He has performed hundreds of seminars and workshops throughout North America and is affiliated with the National Speakers Association, Coach University, and Attraction University. He has served as a Vice President of Sales/Training for two major Dallas Texas corporations. His published work has been featured in numerous business and sales related magazines and websites. He is a committed body builder, private pilot and trophy bass fisherman. Find out more about Chuck and the Mastery Performance Group by visiting www.chuckbauer.com or at