Practical Application: Types of Attitudes in the Workplace

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Good and bad attitudes both have an impact on what happens in the workplace. In this practical application, use the given scenario to practice identifying the attitudes present in the person and their results.

Workplace Attitudes

Attitude is very important in the workplace. A good attitude can make for good relationships with others while a bad attitude can lead to tense or minimal relationships with others. In the workplace, employees with bad attitudes are often replaced. If the managers and owners have bad attitudes, it can sometimes lead to business failure.

In order to make the workplace a success, the ability to identify various attitudes along with their results is a good skill to have. Read the following scenario and practice identifying the attitudes the person is displaying along with how this is impacting the workplace.


Sarah is a cashier at the local coffee drive through in a small town. The owners are very grateful to Sarah as they feel she is punctual and good with customers.

While Sarah is very pleasant with the customers, she doesn't talk much to the owners when they are around. She mistrusts business owners in general, and feels underappreciated. When she was younger, she watched her parents work hard for a company for many years, only for the company to lay them off just a few years before their retirement so the company wouldn't have to pay retirement benefits. Therefore, she gives short answers to the owners questions and avoids engaging them.

What attitudes (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) is Sarah exhibiting and how is this affecting her workplace? Review these three components in Types of Attitude in the Workplace: Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Components.


Here are some questions to think about to find what attitudes Sarah is exhibiting and how they are affecting her.

What beliefs does Sarah have about the workplace?

  • These beliefs make up Sarah's cognitive component of attitude. Because Sarah has a mistrust of business owners, her cognitive attitude is that business owners are untrustworthy.

How do Sarah's beliefs affect her feelings and emotions?

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