No workplace is without its share of negative people; people who not only wallow in negativity but also spread it by complaining, whining, criticising or gossiping. However, one sure way of becoming valued is if you become a person who focuses on the positive. Here’s how to make the switch if you are tired of being negative.
Commit to becoming part of the solution: When you make this commitment, stop the complaining, whining, blaming and contribute to finding solutions. Don’t harp on the negative things or exaggerate issues you are facing or make things look worse than they really are.
Make a clean break: Negativity likes company and negative people who tend to gravitate towards each other and often form cliques. When you commit to positivity, stay away from your former fellow complainers. This may not always be possible as you need to work with them. The alternative is to find someone to hold you accountable by drawing your attention when you default to complaining and whining. If a negative person comes to you, listen the first time but if they make it a habit, draw a line and disengage.
Make positive suggestions: As a member of your workplace, it is automatically your responsibility to help improve things; not assume it’s the job of only managers. Bring your commitment to being positive to life by making some specific practical suggestions especially related to something you are concerned about and which you would have complained about but now have the chance to address more positively. Even if it’s someone’s responsibility specifically to fix something, if it impacts you, it’s always useful to see how you can help rather than criticise them for not doing it.
Zip your lips: If you can’t come up with a positive doable suggestion or are not sure that you can say something positive, then simply keep quiet. Negativity can be contagious and create productivity issues. Do your workplace a favour by not saying anything if you can’t trust yourself to say something positive. Being in conversation with a negative person is extremely draining so don’t be that kind of person.
Face the obstacle: Being positive is not a simple ‘sitting by the fireplace experience or process’. It takes guts to hang in there and stick to your commitment. Don’t revert to complaining at the first sign of down times or a situation that you cannot not be positive about. When feeling this way, avoid people who are likely to reinforce your negativity.
Now take action: Reduce interaction with negative people in your workplace.