EP086 Temperament and Personality Fuel Your Attitude


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It’s important to understand why mindset management and attitude habits elude so many people. Human development is complex and attitude requires consistent discipline. A person’s upbringing significantly impacts his/her perspective in life, and self-awareness to overcome development gaps is required.

Our attitudes are linked to our temperaments and personalities. Instead of adjusting behaviors stemming from problematic temperament and personality demonstrations, many people justify their negative behaviors by reinforcing the very traits that can become relationship breakers.

Let me share some common examples of justifying non-productive behaviors so you know what I’m referring to in specific terms. These examples come from clients during coaching sessions:

“I’ve always been this way.”

Right. And it drives people crazy 40 hours a week.

“I’m just stubborn.”

No, it’s more than that. You are acting childish, focused only on getting your way without regard for how your actions impact others and the work flow.

“I don’t like change.”

You’ve moved through change repeatedly in your life (new: clothes, schools, grade levels, teachers, jobs/supervisors, pets, moving, relationships, food, cars, learning technology, rearranged furniture, etc.).

The issue is resisting change imposed upon you. You want things to be your idea and your way – which can work out okay if you have what it takes to create your own business. But if you DECIDE TO and AGREE TO work for someone else, you must adapt to change sourced from other people’s ideas and actions.

LIVE IT! reminds us to check in with ourselves and understand what we feel and why we feel it as we flex to the demands and requests of others. It’s important to provide logical (rather than emotional) reasons for your requests.

Some people want to keep the jobs they have when they aren’t willing to evolve with the changing needs of their customers, organizations, departments, and roles. If you want to keep your job and fulfill your role effectively, you will likely have to adapt to change repeatedly.

Evolution of any type requires change. Evolve or die. And don’t tell yourself you’re just “plateauing”; look again. Something is probably eroding.

“It’s harder for me.”

Teaching college classes tested my ability to see and believe in the best in people because many people were addicted to the stories they’d been telling for years. Their excuses seemed incredibly valid, and I was tempted many times to cave in and allow different rules for different people. And then I realized it would be a disservice to those students if I became yet another person who bought into their excuses and lowered the bar for them.

I’ve come to believe each of us has difficulties. And while some bring higher level challenges to their daily circumstances, people have proven repeatedly if one person refuses to support their excuses, they can rise up and make themselves proud. The rule in my classes was not one everyone agreed with: the criteria for earning a grade should be the same for everyone. If I made an exception for one person, the exception should apply to all. Here’s my rule: if you earn an “A” grade, this is the time period and scoring criteria you must meet – it’s the same for everyone.

In my teaching experience, students who earned “A”, “B”, or “C” grades took pride in knowing they met the same criteria as all other students. It boosted their confidence to know I didn’t make special rules for them. For many students, that “C” grade was spectacular, because many people in the same situation would likely drop out or flunk the course. My students felt good about knowing they could earn passing grades without making special rules for them.

I’ve seen the same circumstances apply in the workplace. People want a promotion, but they aren’t willing to take responsibility for meeting the requirements – they want to keep doing things their way, at their comfort zone level, and want to be rewarded for it. That’s not how it works. Related to this circumstance are those employees who have an elevated view of their capabilities and then have a disgruntled attitude because they are focused on feeling overlooked instead of taking responsibility for advancing their skills.

I don’t know what difficulties you face when you get up every day. For many people it takes all they’ve got to show up to work on time on the days they are scheduled. For many people, following directions is an awakening. Wherever you in the spectrum of challenges, I do believe this: if you tell yourself repeatedly, “It’s harder for me,” it will be harder than it needs to be.

You might never know what you may have accomplished if only you would have let go of that excuse. May I encourage you to see it’s time for a break through? Raise the bar for yourself before it becomes someone else’s job to raise that bar for you.

“It doesn’t matter what I do.”

Yes, it does matter what you do and say. You are either making other people’s jobs more enjoyable and easier, or you aren’t.

You are creating your reputation every day. Now that your coworkers know you, would they still want to hire you if they could do it again?

“I don’t want to.”

I get that. Success may require doing things we’d rather not do. For example, I dread having to deal with any type of technical support. When I say dread, I mean – hate. Technical support issues trigger high levels of stress in me. However, if I’m going to participate in continuous improvement, I’m going to be learning new technologies and applications continually. Those things don’t always work the way they are supposed to and I don’t always see what it is exactly I’m supposed to do or what I’m doing wrong. It’s a given I will be dealing with technical support on a regular basis. It’s part of the trade off: in order to meet my goals, I’m going to deal with technical support.

In his book, The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life, Jeff Olson wrote a statement that stuck with me: “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”

Exactly. Wanting or not wanting to do something is not the point. Are you WILLING to do the things you don’t want to do in order to master positive attitude habits?

Being prepared for your success is foundational for expanding careers and contributions. If an opportunity arises, you need to be ready to say, “Yes,” and pivot. Being uncomfortable and uncertain during the pivot stage is normal. Exchange thoughts of, “I don’t want to,” with the question, “Am I willing to…?” and habits can be established to help you meet your goals.

You may also encounter circumstances in which you ask, “Am I willing to….?” and the answer is, “No”. That’s okay. Own your decision consciously. However, you don’t then get to resent the result of your decisions.

Now that we’ve seen some common examples of how people justify their non-productive behaviors, let’s focus on these important attitude factors.

Temperament: “1. A person’s or animal’s nature, esp. as it permanently affects their behaviors.”

From my training perspective, I think of temperament as the way we are “wired”. For example, on the Italian side of my family, the men were short-tempered. As I was growing up, the behaviors resulting from that temperament trait were modeled for me.

Awareness: there’s a 50% chance I’m wired to be short-tempered (nature). Yelling, hitting, throwing things, hitting walls or other surfaces was modeled for me (nurture).

During my teenage years a lack of control over my temper limited my success. Even though I won athletic awards, including the overall athlete award from my high school, I KNEW my talent was limited due to a lack of emotional control.

I didn’t want to demonstrate some of the behaviors that had been modeled for me. I launched a self-improvement plan to overcome certain parts of my temperament, without giving up the positive aspects of my temperament such as quick thinking and action, high energy when under pressure, a determined “can-do” way of being, and a warrior-like fighting instinct that literally saved my life when I was in college.

Read the rest of this chapter in the book to learn more.

Get Catherine Goggia’s book, “LIVE IT! Mastering Positive Attitude Habits, 15 Practical Tips for Managing Your Mindset,” on Amazon:


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My focus is training supervisors and managers, or front line employees who have the goal to promote to leadership some day. The time to start behaving like a leader is before you fill a leadership position. The information, tools, and resources shared in this podcast are designed to help you reach your highest potential in your career. I taught college level Business Communication and Employee Readiness courses for 15 years. Employees and students tell me my courses change their lives for the better, and my evaluations consistently rate me as an engaged and motivational speaker. I decided to produce a podcast in the effort to support a broader audience of people in higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity, as well as encourage people to find jobs for which they are a good fit.

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If you know anyone getting ready to start college, or even at a crossroads in life trying to put things back together in a positive way, I encourage you to give them my book, From Average Student to Academic Rock Star! This is my foundational college orientation available on Amazon in paperback. Set up like a workbook with action steps, this information has helped thousands of people get their goals on track. Some readers are purchasing it as a gift, and then deciding to keep it for themselves because of the life lessons addressed in the book. Check it out on Amazon!

From Average Student to Academic Rock Star!

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150 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 24 mins duration .