mornings can set the tone for the entire work week. It was a beautiful weekend
in the northeast so we can kick off the day by comparing summer fun. Blue skies
might make it tough to return to the office but they do lift the gloom of weeks
is not the only potential cause of workplace clouds. The constant scowl worn by
the determinedly negative team member is enough to wipe out a whole list of
sunny thoughts. We try to ignore them, study their habits to avoid pouring
coffee when they do and keep our heads down when we see them heading our way.
But when we don’t confront them the dreariness can spread.
trap of enabling the miserable employee by following a few basic guidelines:
Don’t agree and add to the story. When grumpy starts complaining about
the burnt hot dogs at yesterday’s barbeque your natural response may be to
detail the horrors of your brother-in-law’s charred burgers. While the taste of
overcooked chop meat may still be a tough memory all you are doing is
continuing the conversation. It takes time and energy to keep this up and will
linger longer than the smell of smoke.
Prepare a snappy response. Last week a client group recounted a
long list of undesirable traits demonstrated by the office misfit. I loved the
recommendation of one participant who turned to this employee when they began a
tirade and simply said, “Stop trying to bring my day down.” Whatever you say it
should be natural, direct and don’t waiver. But don’t add personal attacks.
“You’re such a loser,” will not have the same affect.
Challenge them to change
the whiner launches into the reasons why the company, department or team is on
the brink of disaster ask, “What can you do to make it better?” They are so
used to everyone nodding heads and agreeing that the change in focus will
undoubtedly catch them off guard. They will scratch their head and walk away,
start avoiding you or think about a possible change.
option should not be, “do nothing.” This only encourages the person to find
their audience and bring people down. Think about how nice Tuesday through
Friday will be when the level of complaints dries up with the rain drops.