Some people radiate negativity. They don’t like their jobs or they don’t like their company. Their bosses are always jerks and they are constantly treated unjustly. The company is always going down the tube and customers are worthless. You know these negative Neds and Nellies – every organization has some – and you can best address their impact on you via avoidance.
So once I’ve identified who are negative coworkers- what should I do…
Tips for dealing with Consistently Negative coworkers
- Avoid spending time with a negative coworker.
- If you are forced, through your role in the company, to work with a negative person, set limits. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into negative discussions. Tell the negative coworker, you prefer to think about your job positively. Avoid providing a sympathetic audience for the negativity.
- Suggest the negative person seek assistance from human resources or their supervisor.
- If all else fails, talk to your own supervisor -your supervisor may have ideas, may be willing to address the negativity, and may address the issue with the negative person’s supervisor.
On the other hand, sometimes normally positive people are negative. Some of the time, too, their reasons for negativity are legitimate. You will take a completely different tack with these occasionally negative people. We’ll deal with both of these varieties of negativity from people.
How should I handle a person who legitimately has a reason to be negative….
- Listen to the employee or coworker’s complaints until you are certain that they feel heard out and listened to. Sometimes people repeat negative sentiments over and over because they don’t feel like you have really listened to them. Ask questions. Clarify their statements. Make sure you have actively listened.
- Ask if they’d like your help to solve the problem. If they ask for help, provide advice or ideas for how the coworker can address the reason for their negativity- but know your limits when advising coworkers.
So remember if you decide to listen to coworkers’ negativity you should decide if the concerns are indeed legitimate and practice the courage of telling them that you care about their concerns of happiness – while empathizing on the job but also while remembering to correctly direct them to who can help them if you disagree with their predicament.