4 Soft Skills for the Workplace Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Positive Attitude Professionals exhibit a positive attitude in their job performance and workplace interactions. Attitude is how personal thoughts or feelings affect a person’s out- ward behavior. It is a combination of how you feel, what you think, and what you do. Attitude is how an individual sees himself or herself, as well as how he or she perceives others. Individuals with a positive attitude are optimistic and look at the upside of a sit- uation rather than the downside. Optimism enables them to look at the big picture, identify what can be changed, recognize what cannot be changed, and make good decisions. Optimists learn from experiences, accurately identify problems, and try to offer solutions, rather than complaints. Optimistic people are proactive and learn from their mistakes. Attitude influences the way a person performs in a job situation. People with a positive attitude generally are successful in their work life. Positive people are enthu- siastic and show interest in their jobs and the activities in which they participate. Professional Image Journalist Brian Williams had a well-crafted, professional image. His image projected honesty, integrity, and the ability to communicate complex stories and issues in a way that was understandable and engaging for the common person. His image also projected likability during broadcasts, as well as in appearances outside of the news industry. In early 2015, his professional image came into conflict with the facts of a story he had reported in 2003. The story involved a military helicopter he was a passenger in during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After the initial report, Williams retold the story many times, but the retellings included differing accounts of what happened. In a January 2015 news broadcast, he reported that his helicopter had been hit by enemy fire and was forced down. This version of events was quickly criticized by a flight engineer on another helicopter involved in the incident. Williams’ reporting came under scrutiny, including many past stories. Ultimately, Williams was suspended for six months by NBC and he lost the network’s nightly news anchor position. 1. What is your opinion in how image played a role in Williams presenting differing accounts of what happened? 2. Discuss how this event affected the audience’s perceived honesty and integrity of Williams. 3. How should Williams have handled the situation after the first erroneous retelling of the story? 4. Describe the professional image of Brian Williams today now that the incident has lost some of its public attention. Case Study Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com
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