There’s nothing worse than a negative workplace. Even if most of the team members work well together, just one Negative Ned or Negative Nancy can easily bring productivity levels to a screeching halt. Fortunately, employees have the power to effect change in the workplace and set a positive example for their co-workers.
Here are some of HCR’s top tips for not getting pulled into your colleagues’ negativity spiral:
Gossip can be harmless in small doses. However, employees who constantly engage in this behavior risk causing the entire team to suffer low morale. After all, spreading rumors about co-workers and managers can discourage bonding and lead teammates to see each other as enemies rather than allies. The next time a co-worker approaches you with an item of gossip, don’t hesitate to ask whether they know this piece of information is factually accurate. If it’s just a rumor, encourage them not to spread the detail to others in the office.
Some people are relentlessly negative, no matter how good or bad circumstances may seem. For example, they might focus on the difficulties of a situation (like the extra work that comes with a promotion) rather than the fact that their work situation has improved overall. For best results, call out this behavior and encourage negative employees to share the good aspects of a situation along with the ones that are less favorable.
Celebrate the Victories
Workplaces can be stressful, and employees have a tendency to linger on the problems rather than celebrating the victories. If you want to set a positive example in your office, make an effort to talk up the good moments as they arise. For example, you could encourage team lunches or happy hours after the group meets a milestone. Similarly, it can help to explain to negative co-workers how their behavior impacts the others. Encourage them to respond to good news with enthusiasm rather than raining on anyone’s parade.
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