Negativity in the workplace can have a damaging impact on teamwork, motivation, communication, overall engagement, and outcomes. Even worse, at times negativity can be felt by our patients, families, and customers leading to poor patient/customer experiences. Diffusing negativity and impacting a positive culture isn’t easy, but incredibly important.
Here are three strategies that can be utilized to diffuse negativity in the workplace:
Commit to Providing Direct and Timely Feedback
Feedback is an incredibly effective tool for tackling difficult situations head-on.
- As a team, agree on a feedback tool that the entire team commits to using. Hold team members accountable when they don’t use this tool to directly communicate their feedback to others.
- Enroll in the Providing Effective Feedback Development Webinar to learn strategies for both giving and receiving effective feedback.
When you hear negative comments, don’t join in. Joining in can be tempting and a way to drive connection between you and the other person. Find strategies to build connection without joining in the negativity. Consider ways you can help resolve the conflict instead of partaking in it.
- “I can see your perspective, have you thought about bringing this up to…”
- “While I don’t necessarily agree with you, I can see how that can be frustrating.”
- “I’m here if you would like to brainstorm solutions for how to solve the issue.”
Perspective-taking is a powerful tool in diffusing negativity. It gives us the chance to see a situation from another person’s perspective and break free from assumption. Find opportunities to promote perspective-taking within your team culture.
- Consider a situation from another person’s perspective:
- “Wow, that must have been a really difficult decision for our leader to make.”
- “He seemed really off today, I wonder what’s on his mind.”
- One of the easiest ways to understand another person’s perspective is to ask for it! Seeking clarity can help you understand what another person is thinking and feeling. Hearing directly is the best way to cut through assumption.
- Enroll in the Impact of Perception Development Webinar for more strategies on reshaping perspective.
Practice one of these strategies the next time you experience negativity in the workplace.