CO - HR Innovation

How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work

How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work
In arithmetic's, negative into negative equals positive. But that’s just in arithmetic's. In the real world, if you try to multiply negativity with some more negativity, the result will just be more negativity. And a negative result is always conflicting with one’s desired objectives.

Every employee in an organisation, at some point of time or another, breathes in the air of negativity that surrounds the workplace. That is dangerous. A self-dependent and a self-empowered human being should not be influenced by external factors, such as this or at lest should be in a position to reverse it in the shortest possible time even if impacted negatively. A negative working atmosphere is made by negative employees or to be precise the negative mind-set of employees. Now, all the employees may not be on the same ‘negative wavelength’. Some employees are more pessimistic than others and they are the ones that you need to learn to deal with. In fact you just need to deal with the ones who affect you, don’t make it a personal target to change everyone.  However, yes its very important to deal with them as we all know we are also a product of our environment and people around us have the highest contributing factor!

Here are a couple of ideas on how to deal with negativity that’s created primarily by the negative colleagues at one’s workplace:

1. Self Awareness: Humans have the capacity to logically reason things out. Following the age old adage, Monkey see, Monkey do, is not particularly wise for the simple reason that we are better than that. We can think, analyse and introspect. We can make undertake evaluations. We can make sound decisions. Self-awareness is the key. When combating negativity at your workplace, figure people out. If you are aware, it’s easy to make calculated deductions about people. In a self-aware state of mind, even if the negative people try to poison you with their negativity, you will be a step ahead of them and won’t be susceptible to their frail attempts. Also, instead of judging or evaluating them as negative people you will be able to look at their behaviour from a different lens. Ask yourself, why are they negative, what could be the history, what could be the reason, what are they focusing on that makes them the way they are and now you will be viewing the issue from a different dimension.  Thus, one of the best ways to tackle negativity at one’s workplace is by adopting a self-aware state of mind at all times.

2. Avoidance: Now many people will say that, avoiding is synonymous to running. Forget them. Avoiding is a coping mechanism. It works really well for some people and definitely some situations. When you can pinpoint the sources of negativity within your team/workforce, make a conscious effort to avoid those sources. Being in contact with such people will just dampen your spirits. Some people get triggered on their ego and make it a personal issue and spend more time debating or fighting a battle that is not important!!!! For e.g. If you get into an argument with a person with a negative outlook who happens to disapprove of your thoughts, now if that person is not important why waste your time in even trying to convince or argue. Just move on, I would say and only put in your efforts wherever needed. If you enter all negativity, you will unnecessarily make t a part of your Karma!

3. Confront Negativity As A Challenge: Many times, you will come across instances in your working tenure wherein, you are subject to certain difficulties on account of the negative vibes in the office or because of some pessimistic colleague of yours. Yes, some people are scripted that way, may not be because they are born that way but certain life events have made them that way. They fail to look at the bright side of things. Instead of letting this negativity hit your morale head-on, try to look at the task that’s posed by this negativity as a challenge. Use negativity as a motivator to better yourself. Always remember, if you are able to handle this negativity it is a reflection of your own inner strength. Remember, your life’s challenges make you tougher, it just depends on the way you look at them. So, for the negatives that you cant avoid look at them as an opportunity to make yourself more stronger.

4. Strive To Be Influential: An influential person in the workplace is one who knows how to get their way. Being the influential person is always beneficial. Influencing skills is one of the most important skill in today's world as at any given pint of time you are influencing!!! The better you get at it, the better for you. Constantly keep upgrading your knowledge and skill in this area through books, videos and exploration. Do not assume that ‘all will be taught at work’ you have to go beyond in learning and yes, work and home is a place where you need to implement your learning for sure.

5. Find A Role Model: At your workplace itself, look for a person that you think that you can look up to. Choose carefully though, because a role model occupies a very important role in one’s life. Once you have found someone, use the power that they have on you positively. Let them be your safety net for when the negativity really strikes a chord within you. When you find yourself in such situations, go meet them, speak to them and get it all out of your system. An ideal role model should be able to give you sound advice to deal with the crisis that you find yourself in. Also, remember unlike what people think you can multiple people whom you can look up t, there is no limit. I would rather say, if you have more negative people around you its time to increase the number of positive people as mentors and role models.

Remember, while you apply all these tips there are two things that you should keep in mind:

Don’t make premature judgments/decisions.
Never run away from the problem.

If you can follow these simple principles, negativity will just be another fly that you swat away!
  • Harrish Sairaman
    Harrish Sairaman
    Inspirational Speaker, Leading Hypnotherapist and Life & Spiritual Coach

    Harrish Sairaman is among the Top Motivational Speakers in India, who have successfully conducted more than 900 workshops, touching the lives of over 200,000 people. Harrish established Cogniizant Transformation in 2006 with the intent of facilitating Transformational Solutions helping Organizations and Individuals achieve their desired results. He facilitates Corporate training programs, Fire Walk, Sales training programs, and Motivational training programs. Harrish is a certified performance and life coach and also has many accolades, to name a few Masters in Business Administration and Marketing, Masters in Sciences Like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Kinesiology, Integral Eye Movement Therapy, Subconscious Programming, Hypnotherapy, Conversational Hypnosis for performance improvement.

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