How to Deal with Negativity in the Work Place

Photo Credit — HRinAsia.com

Negative behaviour in the workplace does nothing but forecast doom and gloom in the workplace. It could be a whole department who is constantly spreading a negative vibe or it could be just one person.

Negativity brings out the worst out of each employee it comes into contact with daily. The worst part is that there is no way of knowing immanently before speaking to someone whether or not they maintain a negative attitude or behaviour.

It gets even worse when it is a supervisor who is the one who is constantly spreading negativity. The question arises, how do we deal with negative behaviour?

Identifying Negative People and Behaviour

Every office environment has a level of negativity which may be considered normal in today’s world. At the same time, there might also be that one person who is so negative that it affects the whole department’s performance, from the time he arrives to work. It might become difficult to determine from where all this negativity originated.

Even with all the employee benefits each staff member is getting if someone is still negative, it is imperative to be able to identify what caused the negativity.

Here are few easily identifiable signs that unnecessarily excessive negativity persists:

  • Focus on WHY things CAN’T be done
  • Intense denial of reality
  • Excessive demand to control each activity
  • Uncompromising and inflexible approach to problem solving
  • Constant complaining
  • Reluctance to accept change, even if it is productive
  • Constant expression of discontent and disappointment without logical reason
  • Harbouring contrary to management passion

All these indications are a sign that this may well be an unnecessarily excessive hostile office environment. The next step is how to deal with all this pessimism without getting sucked in to the negativity and aggravating yourself.

Confronting Negative People and Behaviour

Always remember, negative people thrive on the fact that they will be confronted. They know very well that their actions will make any sane person who is writing an assignment or working feel aggravated. If you confront this person, there are more chances of a Mexican standoff. In the end you will not be able to prove your point because the other person is relentless in their opposition, no matter what the circumstances. So how do you deal with such demeanour?

Here are some things which you should always keep in mind and some things that you should never do.

  1. ALWAYS: be aware of being drawn into their pessimism with a bad temper. Take notice of the other person’s proclamation but don’t get angry just because they crush and belittle you every time they talk.
  2. ALWAYS: be aware of getting into a disagreement or controversy. Do exactly the opposite of what they want you to do and point out the common ground.
  3. ALWAYS: be prepared to make difficult decisions. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. You don’t need to get involved in to every little scuffle.
  4. ALWAYS: think of the consequences you are getting yourself in to before reacting or responding to their pessimistic attitude with your own slight misconduct.
  5. ALWAYS: try to get to the starting point of the problem by interrogating the other person. With specific answers, chances are that there might not have been such a big deal of a problem to begin with.
  6. ALWAYS: say “I” more than you say “YOU”. This way YOU will not perceived of as a bully trying to get your point across by hook or by crook. You will be looked at as someone who is trying to express their own opinion.

In addition, also consider these

  1. NEVER: shower pessimists with praise and attention. If you do, you are just proving to the rest of the employees that this sort of behaviour is productive.
  2. NEVER: stop asking them to help out just because they are rude. You don’t need to disturb others just because this person is a little boisterous. If you do, you’ll only be punishing other less vocal people with more work.
  3. NEVER: lower your expectations of work or results. A pessimistic attitude does not necessarily mean poor worker. Each employee adheres to the standards of academic services set by the HR department and they should be able to perform accordingly. Otherwise corrective steps can be taken
  4. NEVER: stop correcting them each time just to avoid dealing with a conflict. Somebody will have to guide them. Don’t expect somebody to change for the better without being told to do so.
  5. NEVER: allow negative employees to grumble and complain without interference. Managers and co-workers must all strive to prevent negativity from flourishing and maintain positivity within the office, at all times.
  6. NEVER: give excessive idle-time to employees at work. A negative attitude and rumours develop easily when employees have nothing to do. Don’t give unnecessary leverage to any employees.

Confronting Negative Departments and Bosses

Be prepared to deal with the negativity of complete departments or bosses if you don’t nip negativity in the bud when it starts. Rumours and negativity can easily turn a whole department in to acting vengefully towards a single department or person if not properly monitored. Here are some policies which can help reduce negativity at the workplace.

  1. Interact on a Regular Basis: Let it be known to your employees and superiors that you have an “open door” policy at all times. If at any time an employee or superior wants to speak to you about anything, that they can approach you at any time. This will help you to contend with negative behaviour as it initiates.
  2. Incorporate Everyone: Include all of the employees in the decision-making and goal-setting processes using tools such as surveys and questionnaires. Once everybody is involved in the decision-making and goal-setting processes, it will be very difficult for them to complain.
  3. Inculcate Standards: Make sure that employees know what sort of performance and behaviour will be rewarded by the company and which will be reprimanded. Make it crystal clear to each and every employee. It should be in written form and displayed in a prominent place so that everyone can review it daily. If this is not possible then get help from an assignment writing service provider. Make sure that there is no room for ambiguity.
  4. Rigorous Training: Make sure that you are hiring the right person for the job. It should become evidently clear during the interview whether or not a person has a negative attitude. At the same time, just to make sure that there are no loopholes in the process let it be known to new employees that there is a training period. Inform them that in the training period they can be fired on short notice.

Life is always about choices. With every circumstance and situation there are choices. We are the ones who decide whether a certain situation will help to make us more positive or negative. The bottom line is, how you live your life is your choice. You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be negative. The choice is yours.


Originally published at www.careermetis.com on January 12, 2017.

Original Author — Elaine Vanessa