Dealing with Negative People in the Workplace
Are you surrounded by toxic or negative people in the workplace? Do you experience any of the following toxic behaviours in your workplace:
- business owners, managers or colleagues who constantly criticise and put down their employees?
- employees or co-workers who take credit for your or other people’s work?
- co-workers or employees who blame others, spread rumours and engage in gossip?
Research has shown that toxic employees have significant detrimental impacts on a business. Some of these include angry, frustrated and dissatisfied employees whose performance decreases or who end up resigning as a result of toxic employees’ behaviour. According to a 2009 study, of those employees who choose to stay:
- 66% decrease their performance at work as a result of the negative environment;
- 80% lose time worrying about the negative incident/s;
- 63% waste time avoiding the offending co-worker/manager.
Imagine the cultural and financial impact of the above on your business.
Stop the Negativity
For as long as you remain a bystander and watch the negativity and you do nothing about it, the longer you will indirectly encourage that behaviour, and the greater the negative impact on your business. By stopping the negativity, you are empowering those employees to look at their behaviour as well as sending a powerful message to the rest of your team as to what is acceptable behaviour in your workplace.
Also by stopping the negativity you are standing up for the rest of your team and showing that you respect them and your business. As a leader in your business, you can choose to empower people in this way and reap the rewards from their improved performance.
A quick way to interrupt the negativity is to do something that shocks or surprises the negative person, thus interrupting their train of thought. Carefully watch the person and the moment you notice that they are about to start a negative dialogue, interrupt it right away.
For example, you could do or say something left field that surprises or shocks them (like changing the topic, getting them to think about or focus on something else), which will interrupt their train of thought and stop the negativity. The more negative they are, the more often you may need to repeat this and the bigger the interruption may need to be.
Look in the mirror!
Are you really as positive as you think you are? If you as a business owner or leader are negative, uncertain or doubtful about the future of your business, this will be reflected in your behaviour (eg. being indecisive). In turn, this will create uncertainty in yourself and your team and will set a negative example for others in the business. Your negativity will filter down to your team via your words, actions and thoughts.
How do you respond to challenges? Do you panic, become anxious, talk about worst case scenarios, etc? Or do you see a challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person and a business owner, and rise to the challenge? How you respond to challenges will either inspire or demotivate your team. They will either admire your courage and determination and look up to you or they will pass judgement about your lack of confidence, fortitude, etc.
Like attracts like. Negativity attracts negativity. If you want to surround yourself with positive people make sure that you are positive first by shifting your focus from negativity to opportunity and possibility.
Importantly, if any of your team are being negative and you wish to assist them to stop the negativity once and for all, we can assist by helping to identify and address the deeper issues that are causing their negativity. In this way, you can continue to benefit from their experience, knowledge and transformed mindset. Imagine more easily handling negative people and empowering yourself and your team to stay focused on growing your business!
Read about one of our highly successful clients and how she grew her businesses and effectively dealt with negative people.
How much are your negative employees, customers, suppliers and partners costing your business? Book your complimentary consultation today and discover how you too can effectively deal with negative people.
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