Twelve Ways to Fight Negativity in Your Office

Attitude is a choice.

You can survive at your job, or you can thrive at it. The difference boils down to one word: attitude. A positive attitude can make a bad job tolerable or a good one great. It can make you happier, healthier and more productive. And, most importantly, it can make you successful.

If you find yourself stressed out, dwelling on shortcomings, anticipating the worst, and justifying yourself by saying you’re “just being realistic,” it might be time to turn things around. You can! But a positive attitude is not automatic. It takes focus.

1. Climate: More smiles, approving nods, and eye contact from you and from each other.

2. Input: Give your high-performance people more challenging, interesting, and visible projects.

3. Output: Give more attention to those who are doing exceptional work and reward them with your recognition.

4. Feedback: Give more positive feedback, reinforcement, and praise. Give less criticism.

A business executive dressed in a suit confronts an employee and uses hand gestures as he talks5. Assume universal improvability: Everyone can upgrade their performance. It may be a slow process, but it is possible.

6. Demonstrate confidence: Show your staff that you think they are capable by giving them more delegation, challenging assignments, more freedom, one-on-one coaching, more involvement in planning and decisions.

7. Engage in ongoing dialog: Have an open door, listen, provide full information, and provide feedback on performance.

8. Set high standards: Setting high standards shows that you trust your staff to do well. This encourages them to “rise to the occasion.”

Young girl (6-7), looking in bathroom mirror,9. Offer praise regularly: Offer praise liberally, even if the job isn’t totally perfect. People need praise to bolster their self-image.

10. Criticize the work, not the person: Zero in on the performance, not the person.

11. Encourage self- and career-development: Help others to strengthen their performance, capabilities, and career progress.

12. Watch personal biases: Be careful not to show preferences for one staff/person over another based on dress, personalities, political views, etc.

High employee morale is absolutely key to your organization’s and your personal success. When employee morale is high, so are productivity, quality, and even customer loyalty. When employee morale is low, the only things that are high are employee turnover, absenteeism, and safety violations. You absolutely can’t afford to maintain that environment!


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