Merge's Blog

Overcome workplace negativity by letting people take action and gain control

Last week I offered up one idea on a specific action leaders can take to address workplace negativity in their teams – helping their people see the big picture. I had promised one more idea though, so here it is – let people take action and feel like they’re taking back control.

RollingUpSleevesWhen you give people opportunities to make decisions about and control and/or influence their jobs, you can nip negativity in the bud (or at least stem the tide). One of the biggest sources of workplace negativity comes from a feeling of loss of control. When people are able to make decisions, even small decisions, they get back the feeling of control, and as a result negativity is lessened. So let people get involved in decision-making, ask them for their input, let them participate in the process, even to a limited extent, and you’ll see that involvement increases buy-in, and perhaps just as importantly, reduces negativity.

So what do you think? What else can you add to the list of specific actions leaders can take to reduce workplace negativity? Share your experiences please, and be as specific as you can (without divulging confidential information of course); your specifics will help others facing the same challenge.

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