I once worked with someone who was unbelievably negative. He used to stand at the front of the shop and scowl. And if he did speak to you, it would be to complain about you, a customer or one of your colleagues. It was draining. We all knew he was a negative influence. But we didn’t tell him to stop.
In fact, some people would reluctantly join in and others tried to out-do him. Sometimes I reflect on the days I spent on the shop floor with him. I think about how much he lowered morale and made negativity a permanent fixture of my working day.
I cannot stress to you enough that this man really could complain about anything. His go-to complaint was to criticise teenage boys who all looked like matchsticks with their uncomfortably coordinated outfits. Ironically, those tracksuits were our biggest money-maker, and he wore the same tracksuit regularly too.
One day, one of my colleagues came in with a new hair style. It looked amazing and she had the kind of vibrant personality to pull it off. But this guy was so horrible about it. He just droned on and on about how it was “unprofessional”, and she would “never get a real job looking like a French Fancy”.
That was the last straw.
So, we did something about it. You see, the way to immunise your organisation from negativity is to isolate it - as you would a contagious patient. So, whenever the topic of my colleague’s new hair was commented on, we politely but firmly said that her hair looked amazing. By challenging his negativity, we successfully removed the social reward that comes with this type of behaviour. It took a couple of days, but he finally stopped talking about her choice of hair style.
The colleague in question was desperate to be considered ‘successful’. If I had seen the video What To Say When A Colleague Is Negative I would have asked him, ‘how often do you hear a successful person complain?’. The answer: not very often. Successful people don’t fill their day moaning about their lot in life, their customers or their environment. They are proactive and get stuff done. Negativity very rarely brings people meaningful success.
Sadly, we often only challenge negativity when it has gone on too long. But once you’ve seen WATCH & GO’s What To Say When A Colleague is Negative, you know exactly how to tackle negativity as soon as you encounter it. And that means we can all get on happily with our work without being sabotaged by negative comments.
WATCH & GO’s What To Say When A Colleague is Negative is available for free for the entire month of November from the website. To see more innovative and helpful titles email email@example.com to book a no-obligation demo.
1 November 2019
Other Recent Posts
Due to a rapidly growing population, the North Pole has tripled its operational capacity over the last fifty years. And like many corporate businesses with large operational workforces, the North Pole has been forced to adapt. But they are having problems with Santa Claus!
We're living through a period of unprecedented change. With all eyes on Brexit again this month, we're featuring 'Working in Uncertain Times' as our 'One to Watch' in October. And in our blog, Alice Thynne explores seven tips for achieving success despite the unknowable.
Imagine the scene: a group of people from different organisations, brought together to discuss ways of reducing data error. In the group are three or four payroll professionals. If you were one of them, what examples would you have of things that have gone wrong with your payroll? How about, continuing to pay someone long after they’ve left? Starting a new employee on the wrong salary? Paying part-time staff full-time rates? You undoubtedly have your own horror stories of things that have gone wrong, despite your clever payroll software, which promised to eliminate mistakes!
It’s not always easy to ask for help. In this short article, Alice Thynne shows how using the ideas from one of the WATCH & GO videos, she approached her mum-in-law for much needed assistance.
I’m ashamed to say the first thing I did this morning, and do every morning, is look at my mobile phone. Sound familiar? Research from this time last year by the UK’s regulator, Ofcom, reported that 40% of people check their phone within five minutes of waking up. Something tells me this figure is unlikely to have changed.