Often referred to as an insidious, cancerous infiltration that silently pervades the work environment – ‘negativity’ is a contagious disease which often leads to episodes of backbiting, bullying, gossips, complaining and hostile feeding of the grapevine. It not only affects co-workers and colleagues at psychological, emotional and physical levels, but is also detrimental to the overall health of the organization.
Sue Patton Theole correctly opined in her book ‘The Women’s Book of Courage’ that, “It is easier to avoid the effects of others’ negativity when we question an action or attitude that is appropriately directed at us. If it isn’t, we can choose to sidestep it and let it pass.”
Negative energy, like a bad virus, spreads unbelievably fast and destroys the productivity and morale of the entire team. But you do not have to be a manager or leader in order to curb this outbreak. Every employee, no matter what level they’re at, can lead the way in making the workplace more positive. Here are some easily implemented ideas:
Be a Team Player: Being a team player having a positive attitude helps the day go by faster and makes your job experience more enjoyable. And whatever happened to Humor? In my opinion, making someone smile or smile, can ease stress and even helps exceed goals. Why not try it?
Listen to the opinions of others: We often forget that communication is a two-way street. In order to build better relationships and promote a more positive work culture it’s important to listen to what others have to say. When we indulge in a one-way monologue, we are talking at people and not with them. By soliciting others’ creative input on team projects, we can also improve the overall output.
Bad Co-workers: At times it may be awfully hard and frustrating to interact with difficult co-workers. Being internally angered can only cause your production in the workplace to decrease. Although you cannot control the way a bad-coworker acts, by simply being aware of his/her actions and avoiding the blame-game can help you become a better member of the organization. Remember, that it is not positive or negative persons, but how we ‘digest’ our life experiences, that are instrumental in influencing our level of happiness.
Being respectful to others: Whether you are dealing with someone in a more senior or junior position to yours always be respectful. Remember that in an organization, everyone is a professional and no matter what their work is, in some way or other, they are contributing to the overall success of the organization.
Celebrate Small Achievements: To build positivity and resiliency, try not to ignore or downplay small successes that lead to larger accomplishments. Pause and reflect on these moments, and celebrate them – no matter how small. (Big successes can be far and few in between)
Recognize performance. If you are at a senior position, managing people – try not to miss opportunities to reward excellence. A habit of reaching out to validate accomplishments on a regular basis encourages performance, and wins respect.
Discourage gossips and rumor-mongering: Nobody likes it if someone speculates about you in hushed whispers, and so you should follow the same. If you set a good example, others will eventually be encouraged to follow.
Show Gratitude: ‘Thank yous’ and compliments can fire positive energy in the workplace. Let other know that you appreciate their contribution to your work-life and you will soon be receiving the same. Again, few things are more meaningful than gratitude.
Summing up with a quote by John C Maxwell, “Nobody can motivate himself in a positive direction by continually using negative words”, brings to light the importance of harnessing the slightest positive energies in the workplace and fueling the same to bring about higher productivity, better management and the ultimate attainment of corporate goals.