Most of us have at one time or another had to deal with individuals who are “sour grapes” or have a negative attitude. Some of us have even had to work in an overall negative climate.
With our current economic situation, many triggers exist that were not previously part of our work environment, such as downsizing, workload increases, management changes and the ripple effect of financially challenged customers, any of which can lead to negative energy.
Then there are times when negative attitudes just creep up on a business like a prevailing wind. And sometimes; those prevailing winds never seems to die . . . they just keep blowing!
But whatever the cause, the symptoms of negativity in the workplace usually include:
– Complaining and whining
– Focusing on problems instead of looking for solutions
– Poor customer service
– Lower productivity
so… what can you do to turn negative attitudes into positive attitudes? Here are a few simple ideas:
- Don’t get hooked into complaint sessions and gossip. When faced with negative conversations, try changing the subject or switch the focus to a discussion of what can be done about it (solution-oriented).
- Focus on solutions not problems, and issues not people. Identify the positives each day and talk about them. Recognize even the smallest actions that bring positive results.
- Hold team meetings and invite everyone on the staff to share their creative ideas on how to make the work environment more enjoyable. (Make sure these are facilitated well to keep it from becoming a gripe session.)
- Model positive behavior. Remember that while attitudes and great service start at the top of the organization, every single person is responsible for their own attitude! Managers who want their employees to have positive attitudes must demonstrate what that looks like through role modeling–every day.
- Acknowledge negativity; ignoring it will not make it go away. Pay attention to the frustrations and negative feelings, and then ask the employee for their suggestions regarding what to do about the problems.
- Check your own attitude! If you find yourself faced with a bad attitude every day, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself why that is.
Your attitude about your life and your situation is entirely within your control. Life and time is precious. So don’t let negativity bring you down . . . be a part of the solution and not the problem.