Attitude is a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavour. Simply defined, attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person (including oneself) , place, thing, or event (the attitude object).
Positive Attitude in the development of Human Beings:
A positive attitude is a mindset that helps you see and recognize opportunities. It does not mean living in denial of the negative situations around you.
It is a mental attitude that sees the good and the accomplishments in your life, rather than the negative and the failures.
What contributes to a positive attitude which in turn helps in the development of a person?
- A willingness to examine our strengths and weaknesses, and willingness to change.
- Being open to new ideas and concepts.
- Possessing the will and courage to address our fears.
- Believing that there is goodness and value in everyone.
- A willingness to be yourself and believe in yourself.
Ways to build a suitable attitude needed for a civil servant:
- Compliance: Need for a systemic mechanism for compliance to inculcate a suitable attitude. It includes codes of conduct and ethics, training, monitoring and evaluation, etc.
- Reward/Punishment Approach: Through it, stimuli such as fear, pleasure or pride can be used to instill the required attitude.
- Role model approach or Conditioning Approach: Icons such as A PJ Abdul Kalam, TN Seshan and Lal Bahadur Shastri inspire and motivate many public servants. The most effective method of attitude building.
- Persuasion/ Social Influence: Logos (logic), Ethos (ethics/credibility) and Pathos (emotions) are the three successful ways of persuading to build required attitude.
- Others: Decision Making in difficult situations, Handling ethical dilemmas and conflict of interest, situations necessitating out of the box thinking.
A civil servant with a positive attitude would always uphold constitutional values like empathy and compassion towards the weak, respect for women, protection of the environment etc.
Importance of positive attitude for a civil servant
Civil servants are the face of any government. Their attitude towards the citizenry becomes a reflection of the state. Administrative decision-making is increasingly complicated today by conflicting responsibilities that pressure the civil servants in different directions. A positive attitude is considered to be an essential characteristic of a civil servant who is often required to function under extreme stress. Having a positive attitude helps a civil servant in:
- Improving his/her problem-solving abilities: A civil servant with a positive mind-set has more capacity to consume new information. This, in turn, improves perspective and an ability to ‘connect the dots’ while dealing with matters of public interest. Ultimately, this makes them better equipped to deal with the obstacles and problems that may arise during their work.
- Enhancement of resilience: Positive thinking and attitude can help a civil servant to build greater resilience. This is because positive emotions help a person to quickly recover from negative emotions that he/she develops due to failures or mistakes in decision making and subsequent actions/consequences.
- Improving his/her decision-making skills: Maintaining a positive mindset and attitude during adverse circumstances results in better decision making.