7 Tips for Overcoming Negativity

overcoming negativity


Wherever we turn, it seems like we are confronted by shaking heads, thumbs down, obstacles, brush-offs, and closed doors. “NO” can surround us like a fog that refuses to be burned off by the sun.

Negativity is a problem because it reduces morale and productivity of your team members and increases turnover. Instead of your team members looking for opportunities, discoveries and innovation, they are likely to experience more exhaustion, job tension, nervousness, depressed moods and mistrust.

Where does negativity originate?
One source for negativity is the relationship you have created with your team members and your manager. A recent study done by the college of business at Florida State University found that:

  • 39 percent of workers said their manager failed to keep promises.
  • 37 percent said their manager failed to give credit when due.
  • 31 percent said their manager gave them the “silent treatment” in the past year.
  • 27 percent said their manager made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.
  • 24 percent said their manager invaded their privacy.
  • 23 percent said their manager blamed others to cover up mistakes or to reduce embarrassment.

What can you do to improve your relationship with your team members to overcome negativity?

  • Demonstrate by example. Be positive. Talk about opportunities, benefits and the results. You don’t have to be best buddies with everyone or even like their actions but show respect for your team members and other stakeholders.
  • Have fun. What prevents us from having a little fun while working? Laughter is great medicine for overcoming negativity. Create fun, even silly recognition and rewards for your team. Use incentives for reaching goals and even have a party once the goals have been met.
  • Listen. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason; we should listen twice as much as we talk. Ask your stakeholders for ideas, suggestions and let them know what you will do with about their suggestions.
  • Consistent communication. Implement consistent and clear communication. Have regular and straight forward open discussions with team members and other stakeholders.
  • Build trust. Creating personal connections can be done by having “One-on-one meetings” with each team member. These meetings are done weekly or bi-weekly and the agenda for the meeting is co-created by you and the meeting participant.
  • Acknowledge and brainstorm solutions. Don’t tolerate and ignore negativity. Stop it from growing and spreading by discovering the root cause and confronting the negativity by creating solutions with input from your team.
  • Remove them from the team. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to get rid of a negative team member. Your responsibility is to the team. Part of success is knowing when to say when.