Tag Archives: negativity

Managing the Balance Between– Negativity and Positivity– in Workplace: Organizational Success is All About Attitude…

Negativity is a kind of cancer that occurs in most organizations… Every organization seems to have at least one person who has a tendency toward negativism– You know the type: ‘No, that will never work’, or ‘That’s stupid’,  or ‘That’s impossible’… According to Eric Friedman; no organization can escape occasional bout of negativity; whether it’s complaining about company policy, or working conditions, or frustrated with a management hire, or bitching about the terrible coffee… When left unchecked, negativity can dramatically impact organizations; its moral, productivity, profitability, reputation...

However according to Gareth Cartman; imagine a world without negativity– smiles everywhere, acquiescence everywhere… In a world free of negativity, you would do everything. You would never question anything, you would just get on with things and do it. Yay for positivity! Hurrah for positivity! But after a while things start to go wrong. The idea that nobody questions– a project, a decision, a new product… that everyone thought was so brilliant– but then things go so badly awry… But hey, let’s all be very positive until the whole organization falls apart because no one wanted to be negative…

In the article Overcoming Negativity in the Workplace by Jeanne Bliss writes: Negativity can be brutal: I’m not even talking about normal culprits like; gossip or ineffective management… yes, that’s part of it and that’s certainly negativity but it goes beyond that– it’s a cancer in workplaces… It’s about worker engagement, careless attitude… which has huge implications for the success of an organization… If workers are– unhappy, disengaged, negative… then the organization will suffer and eventually fail, if not corrected…

Research from MIT’s Sloan School of Management showed that most workplaces lack clear organizational priorities… Only one-third of senior managers could correctly identify the organization’s priorities. When you drop 2-3 levels below senior management, it’s essentially a vacuum around priorities… which means middle management are self-prioritizing themselves, and that means front-line workers (i.e., ones closest to customers) are working on priorities that may or may not have resonance to the actual organizational priorities…

Hence, when workers priorities are unclear and constantly shifting, engagement begins to drop, and negativity in the workplace begins to rise… It varies by company and industry but this can be a major root cause of negativity in the workplace… Overcoming negative thinking in the workplace revolves around three basic workers’ issues:

  • Empower Workers: Empower workers to be creative in work assignments– let them have ownership over their work– don’t micromanage every aspect of their work. Let them show their skill sets– and if they mess-up or do something off-brand or not customer-aligned, then course correct with them…
  • Recognize Workers: One sure-fire way to establish negativity in the workplace is when workers do not feel rewarded… Most studies indicate workers leave– their managers, not their jobs. Hence, honor workers’ accomplishment and recognize their achievements…
  • Respect Workers: Trust and respect workers… yes, they won’t always be perfect and when they’re off-base then course correct with them… More trust, more empowerment, more respect, more recognition– begets less negative thinking in the workplace…

In the article Dealing With Negative Workers by Jacqueline Whitmore writes: Most everyone has  encountered workers who stay in an organization for years, all the while complaining on a daily basis about– the boss, the organization, colleagues, customers… it’s tiring just thinking about it… However, it’s important to remember that complaints, much as we may not want to hear them, often unearth legitimate issues…

The danger is falling into the trap of responding to a complaint with another complaint– competing complaints– its one-upmanship of the worst kind. Perhaps you work with people who complain endlessly but never offers solutions. These negative people create destructive energy and drama, and if you are not careful, they can pull you into their chaos; disrupting your focus, side-lining your goals, tarnishing your reputation. According to Susan M. Heathfield; the way you deal with negative people is by spending as little time with them as possible.

Set limits with coworkers whose negativity you believe is baseless or unwarranted… The reason or cause of their long-term negativity are not your concern… Every negative worker has a story, but you cannot get sucked-in by listening to grievances that cause their negativity– don’t reinforce negativity by giving it legitimacy; negativity is a choice. Negativity mongers need to do something different– a new job, a new company, a new career, a new outlook, or counseling…

In the article Why Negativity is a Good Thing by Alexia writes: The psychological world is wrong: Negative thinking is a good thing in many organizations. Too much time is spent trying to think positive about everything… blocking negative thoughts, chanting positive affirmations and focus on images that make you feel good… It’s the blind belief that only positive thoughts are good thoughts… But negativity is a good thing, too. Without negative thoughts good things never happen…

Negativity is what makes you question what you are doing, and without it you will never see the potential pitfalls in what you are doing… Few organizations appreciate the potential in negativity. They attempt to manage negative thinking out of the workplace, and insist that only positive thinking is allowed. Managers should surround themselves with people who ask questions, people who doubt, people who say ‘this will never work’, even when it appears to be working…

Every organization must have a balance of people– positive thinkers and naysayers… people who question decisions, question the processes, question the results, question how the results were obtained… At times it can be very painful but you must listen to all legitimate points of views. The days of believing that everyone in the workplace– manager, worker… will blindly follow every decision is naive, at best: Perhaps it’s time to be more positive about negativity…   

Invasions of Negativity, Negativitaur, Negaholic — Destroy Organizations: Cancer That Spreads by Contact…

Look around any organization and chances are you’ll find at least one person whose negativity affects the rest of the group to varying degrees. New research has found that it only takes one toxic-negative person to upset the whole apple cart… It’s so-called ‘bad apple’ effect– people who are constantly negative about work, who are unhappy about the organization, who always bully or attack others– it’s like cancer that destroys team dynamics and creates organization dysfunction.

According to William Felps and Terence Mitchell; most organizations don’t have very effective ways to handle negative people…

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Organizations need to move more quickly to deal with these issues because the negativity of just one person can be pervasive and destructive and spread quickly throughout an organization… Team members react to a negative member, typically, in one of three ways; 1. intervention, 2. rejection, 3. defensiveness… And since negative behavior outweighs positive behavior– a bad apple can spoil an entire organization, but one or two good workers cannot unspoil it. According to various surveys, negativity destroys many workplaces, e.g.:

  • Gallup surveys show that organizations typically have one-in-six employees who are actively sabotaging the positive functioning of others in a workplace…
  • Study found that 25% of employees witness workplace incivility every day, and 50% said they were the direct target of an uncivil act at least once a week…
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates organizations lose $3 billion a year to the effects of negative attitudes and behaviors at work…

In the article Negativity by Anthony Iannarino writes: Negativity is a communicable disease… Every organization has its– cynics, critics, slackers, burnouts… The ‘cynics’ don’t feel passion for anything about the organizations and often say that all it stands for is bullshit… The ‘critics’ are always criticizing the organization and often making negative remarks about what should be done, but they never take responsibility, or never actively undertake initiatives that would make a difference…

The ‘slackers’ believe they are overworked, underpaid, and try to do as little as possible, and never make a meaningful contribution… The ‘burnouts’ are always tried and lack the energy or passion to make any real contribution– they are simply doing their time… All of these groups exemplify the worst within an organization, and just like cancer negativity spreads from person-to-person… And just like cancer they negativity destroys teams, departments, and eventually the entire organization… Hence protect your organization, remove negativity.

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In the article Negativitaurs Destroy Companies by Nigel MacLennan writes: Chances are that one or more of negativitaurs are destroying your organization… The word ‘negativitaur’ is derived from the words– negate, negative, negativity… named in the style of Greek mythical bull-like creatures capable of causing huge damage. Someone who is so toxically negative that they destroys and/or prevents all the good around them… Many negativitaurs are easy to spot, while others are more Machiavellian and harder to spot…

A negativitaur would dismiss the idea of having any vision; visions destroy organizations! And would offer no solution… and when you tried to move the discussion towards finding a solution, they would quickly tell you why no solution is possible… Identifying these non-problem solvers, and negative disruptors is key for the success of an organization… Negativitaurs are pretenders, and they are incapable of developing solutions, they only seeks to block attempts to find them… However, negativitaurs are politically skilled and can recommend a non-solution that looks like a solution…

In the article Negativity Destroys Companies by Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes: Challenges in the economy and the frantic pace of change are causing more stress, dysfunction, negativity than most people can handle or want to handle… Here are a few characteristics of negativity that can kill an organization:

  • Frequent Complaints: Coworkers trash-talk their company, team mates, leaders, products, customers… They tell friends, relatives, acquaintances outside the organization… about the negatives, the bad things, worst about the organization… and they do it over and over again…
  • Overwhelmed Feelings: No matter how hard you work or how fast you work, you never even come close to getting everything done. It always seems like you have double-negative; too much work, too little time… These are two unhealthy choices; to either let some work go, or let some work get done more poorly than you would like…
  • Non-Appreciation: In many organizations, the number one job complaint is: You can do many things right and not hear a darn thing about it. You do one thing wrong and they’re right in your face… Employees at all levels need verbal appreciation for the good work, or they begin to go negative– they begin to feel ‘what’s the point’ and ‘why bother’…
  • Disengagement: This is when an employee’s ‘body’ is at work but their ‘mind’ isn’t… The original gung-ho has slipped away, and so they spend more time daydreaming then working… they escape to activities such as; personal phone calls, Internet, coffee-room… and host of other non-job related activities…
  • Distance: It’s when coworkers don’t connect, e.g.; they may not like each other, so they treat each other with disdain at worst and tolerance at best. Or, they do not trust each other… It’s very much every person for themselves, which creates a negative work place environment…
  • Belittled Change: In some work environment, the innovators are the bad guys and they get put down. When they bring up new ideas or suggest a better way of doing something, they get teased, criticized, attacked… they are perceived as negative people… So the innovators learn that a ‘get-by-performance’ is safer than being advocate for change…
  • Hoarded Information: It’s a sick little negative game when some people withhold information from others because they know that knowledge is power. And they only share information when it suits their purposes…
  • Selfish Priorities: Instead of putting ‘customers first’ or ‘quality first’, some employees live by the negative ‘me first’ motto. They’re always asking ‘what’s in it for me’ before they extend themselves. So they only meet others needs–  coworkers, customers… just when they feel like it…
  • No-Win Situations:  Sometimes no matter what you do… you’re wrong. Sometimes when you show initiative you get punished… Sometimes when you do what you are supposed to do but didn’t check-in with the boss first, you get punished… When employees experience too many of these no-win situations, they get negative and stop trying to win…

It’s easy to become entrapped by a cycle of negativity… According to Dave Ursillo; often the key to breaking any cycle of negativity is to shift your state of mind and alter your current perspective, e.g.: Focus on the Moment— a simple remedy to abandon a cycle of obsessive over-thinking is to focus on the small stuff; focus on here and now, and something small but meaningful... Take the Long Viewshift your perspective from the ‘right now’ and onto the big picture; focus on the long view…

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According to Margarita Hakobyan; some negative employees traits are obvious, e.g.; those who– steals, lies, cheats… but there are other types of employees that can be more damaging… these are employees who approach their job with the idea of doing the bare minimum necessary in order to stay employed. This negative attitude creates a toxic culture of ‘bare-minimum’ effort that makes it impossible for any organization to succeed…