Management Today wants experts to provide 150 words on how businesses should handle negativity in the workplace. How do you prevent or manage it to ensure a more positive and productive work environment?
2 responses from the Newspage community
Chris Mooney, Learning & Development Consultant at Bournemouth-based CM Learning, experts in positive mindsets and workplace wellbeing: In the business world, too many people are allowed to tread water and behave in a damaging way because leaders and managers refuse to address what is going on. Negativity then becomes the norm, and the longer that situation continues the more challenging it is to address and overcome. Saying that, people sometimes mistake critical and constructive evaluation for negativity, when really it is anything but. In fact, the perceived negativity is a genuine attempt to help and point out mistakes and potential pitfalls. Ultimately, everyone in offices everywhere needs to get better at communicating and generally offering feedback to one another. Always acknowledge the viewpoint of a colleague and then shift the focus onto what can be done or what will help to make something happen (rather than what can’t be done or won’t help). Then, rinse and repeat. Nothing changes if we don’t change and most of us will quietly admit there is room for improvement in us all.”
The culture of an individual business has a huge part to play in the way negativity is dealt with, and it's cultures that encourage openness and honesty that fare best on this front. A true open culture empowers everyone to input on business matters, whether good or challenging. Importantly culture and positivity starts from the top down and if the communication going out to teams is honest it will tend to come back honest, too. Equip leaders with the tools to facilitate open and honest communication and also, importantly, allow it time, as positive and productive work cultures don't develop overnight. Above all, try to create a simple culture that, at its heart, is focused on trust, honesty and up-keeping simple values — and always be sure to allow all employees to input in a constructive way on the business.