small business support
We have all worked with someone who always sees the glass half empty. They refuse to see the positives in any situation and as a result can be a drain on other employees and your business. How can you deal with the continued "negative Nancy or Steve, or April in your organization? What can you do to help them see the brighter side of things? Here are three tips that can certainly help your negative thinking employees.
Get to the core!
I think we can all agree that people are not born negative thinking or born without a ray of sunshine. So what happened along the way to make them always see the negative side of things? I once worked with a guy who complained about everything. He was really good at what he did but it was a battery drain to have a conversation with him. It was exhausting! Finally, one day I said Bob(not his real name), why is the glass always half empty? He paused for a bit! I don't think anyone had ever asked him that question. He thought about and said, "well, I guess I get it from my dad, he was always negative" It was a learned deposition! His father was negative so therefore he just mimicked this behaviour his entire life. But having this conversation helped him to think about and be more mindful of how he was perceived by myself and other members of the team. Getting to the core is the first step in creating awareness in your negative employee. Help them to start to think about the root of their thinking.
Build them up!
Normally a negative thinking employee has trouble seeing how valuable they are as a person or even as an employee. Add an extra layer to your performance review process by incorporating positive affirmation into their daily work day. It could be that early morning meeting where you tell everyone how great you think they are. Tell your employee one thing every morning that makes them know how much you value them. It could be as simple as saying: "Steve, it was awesome that you got all those shipments out yesterday even though your day was super challenging. We appreciate that so much." Or "Eva, one of our customers called in and mentioned how kind you were to her on the phone and how well you handled her problem" Building up your employee or employees using small daily affirmation goes along way in increasing their productivity and their overall attitude.
Encourage healthy mistakes
One of the reasons why your employee might be negative is flat out fear. They have a fear of making mistakes! Using negative language on a constant basis is their way of creating low expectations and therefore mask future mistakes. Encourage an environment that allows your employee or employees to make healthy mistakes. A healthy mistake is one in which you always see the positive aspect of it and one in which you always learn from it. This approach will allow you to help break down some of the barriers that your employee tend to create with their negative thoughts.
Bottomline, having a negative employee or employees can have a dramatic impact on the team overall and your business. Finding out why they are the way there are, validating them and encouraging them to be themselves by making healthy mistakes is very important. Change won't happen overnight, it will be an ongoing endeavour. If the employee is good at what they do, it might be worth the effort to helping them see that the glass is half full instead of half empty.