Human Relations

ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action

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Human Relations­ MGMT611
Lesson 06
Attitude influences the behaviour of the individuals. Attitude is a usual way of doing things. Successes and
failures in life depend upon the attitude of the individuals. If attitudes are positive, then human relations will
be positive. And positive human relations are necessary for a successful life.
a. Attitude is a disposition to approach an idea, event, person, or an object.
b. It is a tendency to act in one way or the other toward an `attitude object' or something (i.e. idea, event,
person, object, food, colour, and furniture, virtually everything).
Behaviour may be defined as
a. The manner in which one behaves.
b. The actions or reactions of a person or animal in response to external or internal stimuli.
c. The manner in which something functions or operates.
Ethical behaviour
Ethical behaviour is attributed with certain characteristics of honesty, sincerity, fairness and equity in
interpersonal and professional relationships.
Attitude is like a driver or decision maker. It decides how to act or behave in a particular situation. Success
and failure in schools or in work life depends on the attitude of an individual. Attitude is a kind of habit. It
is a usual way of doing things. Everything in an organization will get better if the attitude of everyone gets
better. We reward positive attitudes and punish negative ones. Just like weather, everyone likes to talk about
it but no one seems to do much about it.
Types of Attitudes
Attitude is something that lies between emotions and thought processing. Attitude may be positive or
negative. If someone has good feelings about something e.g. towards his/her work, or people, then it is
positive attitude otherwise it would be negative.
Positive attitude
The predisposition that results in desirable outcomes for individuals and organizations can be
described as positive attitude. Positive attitudes are rewarded. It means the individual is
encouraged to do the same thing in future.
Negative attitude
The tendency of a person that results in an undesirable outcome for individuals and
organizations can be described as negative attitude. Negative attitudes are punished in order to
discourage the same action in future.
Change in Attitude
Reward and punishment build up attitude. Attitude can be changed, if we differentiate negative attitude
from positive attitude. Positive attitude can bring positive change in life.
It is difficult to change attitudes but with some effort, it can be done. A positive attitude is a pre-requisite
for change and development. If anybody has negative attitude towards `change', this attitude will extend to
anything representing change i.e. leaders, technology, meetings, or any process of change.
Formation of Attitude
Individual attitudes develop through the interaction of complex forces and are learnt.
And what is learnt can be unlearned or changed. We develop our attitudes from copying those people who
are important to us (significant others), particularly parents and siblings. Religious beliefs are good
Human Relations­ MGMT611
Rewards and punishments associated with certain actions make individuals acquire beliefs and accordingly
result in building personal attitudes.
Demonstration effect from friends and playmates play an important role towards developing attitudes.
Media or persuasive communications also help develop certain attitudes. Often our attitudes towards
politics come from information or persuasive communications from media.
Why concern for attitude
For any change (growth or development), positive attitude towards change is critical. Without the positive
attitude towards change, development or growth is very difficult.
Positive attitude has the power to attract sudden good fortune from the world around us. We can observe
that when under critical circumstances, if we adopt positive attitude and stay calm, we can easily overcome
the problem, having no or less serious consequences.
How to change attitude
Negative attitudes towards change will disrupt the process of change.
Information alone is not sufficient to change attitudes towards a new idea or practice.
Don't fertilize the rocks. First, make people less resistant to receiving and processing information. And then
expect change in their attitudes.
Cognitive approaches focus on changing the way people think about an entity or object. This is done
through information, persuasive communication through introducing conflict or dissonance between the
existing attitude and the new one.
Behavioral approaches focus reward and punishments for certain attitudes and behaviours. It can be used
at homes, schools or organizations.
Social approaches focus on our tendency to copy the beliefs and behaviours of others. Role models
shown on television and in the neighbourhoods are examples. People change their residences, shift from old
localities/mohallas to modern localities to learn new values and bring change in their attitudes.
An individual is capable of holding two contradictory beliefs or notions as long the person is not made
aware about them. Once the person becomes aware, cognitive dissonance occurs. Dissonance is the
uncomfortable feeling when we feel that what we believe may not be true. We can not live with such
discomfort and we try to modify either our thinking or change our behaviour.
We can take the example of an environmentalist who is the advocate of keeping the environment clean,
himself uses smoke emitting car. When he/she is made to realize, about his/her attitude, the conflict or
dissonance emerges in his mind. In the result of this dissonance his/her probable actions will be either
1. Deny the evidence,
2. Change the car,
3. Rationalize the action that he had to drive a large car for safety or for some other reasons.
In all the cases, he tries to reduce dissonance or discomfort, because nobody likes to remain with the
discomfort. He/she will bring change in the attitude to get rid of dissonance. Dissonance can be a great tool
towards change. This conflict or dissonance can be created by oneself or by an organization or a group.
Steps towards change in attitude
Attitudes of individuals towards life, family, ideas, political thinking, religion or anything can be changed.
Following are the various steps for bringing change in one's attitude that bring change in the behaviours.
1. Identify the object towards which change of attitude is desired.
2. Introduce information about which individual agrees.
3. Introduce the new information that contradicts the existing beliefs or attitudes.
4. Identify the ways through which belief or practice conform to new information.
Human Relations­ MGMT611
These four steps towards change in attitude can be easily understood by this example. Suppose you want to
bring change in the attitude of your son towards education. So, first of all you have identified that you want
to change the `attitude towards education', secondly you will find out the reasons for certain attitude, thirdly
you will introduce new information or ideas that contradict with the current information. This introduction
of new information will develop dissonance which might help changing attitude.
Steps to turn attitude into action
Attitudes can be turned into positive actions by realizing certain behaviours such as
1. Understand the power of attitude
2. Take control of yourself and your life
3. Be aware about yourself and keep updated
4. Identify and frame your bad and good attitudes
5. Find purpose of your behaviour and develop prudent passion actions
6. Be pro-active and pre-active
7. Discover the ways to motivate yourself (motivators)
8. Build supportive relationships
9. See change as an opportunity
10. Leave a lasting legacy
Attitude by Charles Swindoll (American Writer)
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than
facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures,
than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness,
or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice
every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only
thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10%
what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes.
"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations."
A prudent personal attitude towards life can identify those opportunities and a person can be come
Dubrin, A.J. (2005). Human Relations for Career and Personal Success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey,
Table of Contents:
  1. HUMAN RELATIONS:Some Guidelines for Effective Human Relations, Communication has 3meanings
  2. CULTURE AND PERSONALITY:Definition of sub culture, Definition of Personality, Types of Persons
  4. PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR:Three concepts of personality, Bias in Perception
  5. PERCEPTION AND GROUP BEHAVIOR:Characteristics of Groups, Individual and Group Behavior
  6. ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action
  7. PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
  8. SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems
  9. CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively
  10. HANDLING PERSONAL ISSUES:Self-Defeating Behaviour, Positive attitude to tackle personal problems
  12. COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RELATIONS:Process of communication, Improving gender barriers to communication
  13. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION:To improve listening skills, Types of organizational communication
  14. UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION STYLES:Modeling communication style, Sociability continuum
  15. SELF-ESTEEM:Building process of self-esteem, Self-esteem and public image
  16. BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE:The importance of self-confidence and self-efficacy, Balanced Self-Confidence:
  17. BECOMING A LEADER-1:Assessing leadership role, Traits and Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  18. BECOMING A LEADER-II:Theories of leadership, Developing leadership potential
  19. GLOBALIZATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES:Religious Values and Bicultural Identities
  20. IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE:Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations, More steps to improve Cultural Relations
  21. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH MANAGERS:Impressing your manager, Coping with a problem manager
  22. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CO-WORKERS:Make Co-workers feel important, Maintain Honest and Open Relationships
  23. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS:Salesperson Represents the Business, Approaching the Customer, Excuses vs. Objections
  24. CHOOSING A CAREER-1:Ten Myths about Choosing a Career, Attitude toward and Perceptions about Myself
  25. CHOOSING A CAREER-II:Choosing a career and developing a portfolio Career, Suggestions for career Preparation
  26. FINDING A JOB:Targeting your job search, The Internet and Résumé Database Services, Extreme Job Hunting
  27. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESUME:Major types of resumes, Electronic Submission of the Résumé
  28. IMPROVING INTERVIEW SKILLS:Successful interview, Knowing the employer or Organization
  29. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1:Reasons of procrastination, Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
  30. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2:Developing the proper attitudes and values, Time-management techniques
  32. TAKING CONTROL OF YOURSELF:Develop Outstanding Interpersonal Skills, Business etiquettes
  33. EXERTING CONTROL ON OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT:Important communication tip, Exerting control over the outside world
  34. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-1:Your personal financial plan, Steps in budget making
  35. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-2:Basic investment principles, Tolerance for Investment Risks, Types of investments
  36. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-1:Finding happiness and enhancing your personal life, The key to happiness
  37. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-2:The Five Principles of Psychological Functioning, Your mind and Happiness
  38. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-3:Need for intimacy, Working out issues with relationships
  39. APATHY AND ITS REMEDIES:Let us try to understand the various definitions of apathy, Coping strategies for apathy
  40. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-1:Influence of Culture, Common ethical problems
  41. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-2:Common ethical problems, Guidelines for Behaving Ethically
  42. HELPING OTHERS GROW:Being a Nurturing, Positive Person, A list of mentoring behaviour, Coaching skills and techniques
  43. REVIEW-I:What is a Human Relation?, Meanings of Communication, Two types of stress, Some personal problem, Communication style
  44. REVIEW-II:Steps to build self-confidence, Globalization, Building Good Relations with Co-workers, Good work habits
  45. REVIEW-III:New model of career advancement, Choosing your investment, Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People