Changing the Attitudes

A problem which confronts most of the managers is of changing the attitudes of individual employees. When the attitudes of the employees are proving to be a hindrance to the performance of the tasks, a manager must attempt to change their attitudes. But the most important thing to remember about attitude change is that there must exist a need to change.

Changes in attitudes may be broadly classified into two categories – congruent and incongruent changes. By congruent change we mean a movement in the same direction; a less serious student converting into a more serious student. On the other hand, an incongruent attitude change involves a change towards the other end. For example, the conversion of a dull and non-intelligent student into an interesting and intelligent student. Similarly, the turning of dislikes into likes, unfavorable into favorable etc., are also examples of incongruent attitude changes.

Before a manager attempts to change an individual employee’s attitudes, he should keep in mind the following factors:

1) The characteristics of the communication
2) The communication method
3) The characteristics of the person to be influenced
4) Situational factors

Characteristics of the Communication:

The most important thing in attitude change is the characteristics of communication (the manager). These include the status and prestige, the business of the communication, whether the manager is liked by the employees or not.

The higher the status of the manager, the higher is the probability that he will be able to change the employees’ attitude. Also, if the employees trust their manager they accept the message and change their attitudes correspondingly. Finally, if a manager is liked by his subordinates he is likely to be successful in bringing change in the attitudes of his subordinates.

The Communication Method:

The type of communication used also plays a very important role. Communication should be easy and convincing so that it creates change without much discomfort.

Another way of communicating the desired change in the attitudes of the employees is through fear appeals this is done by communicating the terrible consequences of the continuance of the present attitudes. Anti-smoking advertisements, by constantly emphasizing the dangerous possibility of cancer, are famous examples of fear appeals throughout the globe.

Characteristics of the Person to be influenced:

The commitment of the target (employee) towards his/ her initial attitude is a major factor influencing the attitude change. Openly expressed attitudes are more difficult to change. Thus, firmly held attitudes to which people are behaviorally or morally committed are difficult to change. Furthermore, the attitudes of people who appear to be self confident and strong are difficult to change because these people feel their attitudes are more correct.

Situational Factors:

Many a times the situation also plays a very major role in changing the attitude of a person. For example when the person feels that the group and the members of the group are important he will have less hesitation in changing his attitudes towards the group.

Developing Positive personal attitudes:

All people are not born with specific positive attitudes but positive attitudes can be acquired through the process of learning. A person’s attitude reflects his likes and dislikes, gained through experience over a certain period of time towards a particular object or aspect.

In order to develop a positive attitude you have to tell yourself, ‘I am somebody’. This will help each of us to exercise the right to be respected by others simply because we exist. Every individual is entitled to choose for himself the kind of person he wishes to be without any explanation.

The mind, generally, will come to accept what we tell it, if we repeat the message often enough. If we repeat the words, often enough we eventually believe in it and develop a positive attitude towards it.

Most feelings of negative attitude stem from unhappy past experiences. When an important figure in your life — apparent, a boss or another authority figure made you feel inadequate, you began to doubt yourself. The longer the criticism continued, the more you doubted, until you began to believe that you could not do anything right.

You cannot change the past, but you can change the way it affects you. Put it behind you. Recognize that no one makes you angry or up set, or make you feel inferior or unimportant – unless you allow them to do so.

How you live life is your choice. Doing so does not require a radical change in your personality. It only needs a commitment to forget about the times others have harmed or treated you badly, and to dwell on the possibilities of the future.

A problem which confronts most of the managers is of changing the attitudes of individual employees. When the attitudes of the employees are proving to be a hindrance to the performance of the tasks, a manager must attempt to change their attitudes. But the most important thing to remember about attitude change is that there must exist a need to change.

Changes in attitudes may be broadly classified into two categories – congruent and incongruent changes. By congruent change we mean a movement in the same direction; a less serious student converting into a more serious student. On the other hand, an incongruent attitude change involves a change towards the other end. For example, the conversion of a dull and non-intelligent student into an interesting and intelligent student. Similarly, the turning of dislikes into likes, unfavorable into favorable etc., are also examples of incongruent attitude changes.

Before a manager attempts to change an individual employee’s attitudes, he should keep in mind the following factors:

1) The characteristics of the communication
2) The communication method
3) The characteristics of the person to be influenced
4) Situational factors

Characteristics of the Communication:

The most important thing in attitude change is the characteristics of communication (the manager). These include the status and prestige, the business of the communication, whether the manager is liked by the employees or not.

The higher the status of the manager, the higher is the probability that he will be able to change the employees’ attitude. Also, if the employees trust their manager they accept the message and change their attitudes correspondingly. Finally, if a manager is liked by his subordinates he is likely to be successful in bringing change in the attitudes of his subordinates.

The Communication Method:

The type of communication used also plays a very important role. Communication should be easy and convincing so that it creates change without much discomfort.

Another way of communicating the desired change in the attitudes of the employees is through fear appeals this is done by communicating the terrible consequences of the continuance of the present attitudes. Anti-smoking advertisements, by constantly emphasizing the dangerous possibility of cancer, are famous examples of fear appeals throughout the globe.

Characteristics of the Person to be influenced:

The commitment of the target (employee) towards his/ her initial attitude is a major factor influencing the attitude change. Openly expressed attitudes are more difficult to change. Thus, firmly held attitudes to which people are behaviorally or morally committed are difficult to change. Furthermore, the attitudes of people who appear to be self confident and strong are difficult to change because these people feel their attitudes are more correct.

Situational Factors:

Many a times the situation also plays a very major role in changing the attitude of a person. For example when the person feels that the group and the members of the group are important he will have less hesitation in changing his attitudes towards the group.

Developing Positive personal attitudes:

All people are not born with specific positive attitudes but positive attitudes can be acquired through the process of learning. A person’s attitude reflects his likes and dislikes, gained through experience over a certain period of time towards a particular object or aspect.

In order to develop a positive attitude you have to tell yourself, ‘I am somebody’. This will help each of us to exercise the right to be respected by others simply because we exist. Every individual is entitled to choose for himself the kind of person he wishes to be without any explanation.

The mind, generally, will come to accept what we tell it, if we repeat the message often enough. If we repeat the words, often enough we eventually believe in it and develop a positive attitude towards it.

Most feelings of negative attitude stem from unhappy past experiences. When an important figure in your life — apparent, a boss or another authority figure made you feel inadequate, you began to doubt yourself. The longer the criticism continued, the more you doubted, until you began to believe that you could not do anything right.

You cannot change the past, but you can change the way it affects you. Put it behind you. Recognize that no one makes you angry or up set, or make you feel inferior or unimportant – unless you allow them to do so.

How you live life is your choice. Doing so does not require a radical change in your personality. It only needs a commitment to forget about the times others have harmed or treated you badly, and to dwell on the possibilities of the future.