Merge's Blog

Overcome workplace negativity by helping employees see the big picture

ThumbsDownCartoonWorkplace negativity is a reality! And often, unfortunately, negative people can end up in your organization or department. By far, the worst aspect of negativity though is that it’s toxic, it spreads beyond just one individual, usually to others the person interacts with. So it isn’t just the negative person that is the problem; unchecked, negativity makes its way insidiously through the entire department. As a leader then, you not only need to be aware of it, but also take active steps to manage it. In the past, I’ve offered ideas on specific actions that you can take to stem the tide – challenging extreme language and letting people talk – but it’s been a while since I covered this subject … so in today’s and my next blog post, I have two more ideas.

First, draw the big picture for your employees, particularly the ones who are prone to negativity. Help people understand how they fit into the overall world of your organization or your department. Show how what they do, specifically, contributes to the outcome of your area of responsibility, or even better, your organization. Let them see the end result and the outcome of their seemingly small actions. People want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, and when you take a keen and enthusiastic role in helping them understand that, you take a (small) step towards involving them, and then counteracting their negativity.

Now obviously, helping your people see the big picture isn’t going to miraculously solve negativity issues that you might be facing. But it is one small action that you can take to move things in the right direction. I’ll offer another idea in Monday’s post, but in the meantime, what do you have to add? Please share by adding a Comment.

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