Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's unfortunate that negativity comes so naturally to people. "No, you can't do that. No, I can't do this." To some, NO is the first thing that comes to mind. It's extremely stressful to be around these people all the time. But hey - what can you do? You can stay positive is what you can do. Realize who's causing the negativity and why and help them out.

A lot of times it just takes someone to point out to the "negaholic" that they have a problem. We've all been there, whether at work or at home. I was there. When my kids were growing up, any time they asked for something, my immediate answer was "NO". Not because the answer was really no, it was because "no" became a habit. Once I realized it, I had to work at losing it.

Negaholism causes many problems in the workplace and just keeps building if nothing is done about it. Some of the biggest problems negaholism causes are:
  • breakdowns in communication,
  • loss of trust,
  • arguing over seemingly childish issues,
  • the blame game (what does that TV commercial call it - "blamestorming"?), and
  • competition where there should be cooperation.
So what can you, as a leader, do to help? Mentor your negaholics. Meet with them, talk with them. Show them how things are and how they should be in order to improve. Point out that their road to advancement depends on their change. You should discuss your (and the organizations) behavioral expectations. And most of all, give good honest - and frequent - feedback. Just showing a negaholic that you care can be enough to turn him/her right around.

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