It is inevitable that as a team leader you end up dealing with employees that always seem to be negative. Maybe they keep complaining or they never say anything positive. These people are actually called “naysayers” by sociologists and those that study human behavior. Basically, the negative employee simply focuses on the negative sides of everything instead of the big picture or something positive.
Fortunately, you can always deal with negative employees. German Trujillo Manrique says this is difficult to do at times but it is definitely something that has to be done. A negative attitude is always destructive and disruptive. Team dynamics are negatively affected and you will soon be faced with much bigger problems.
When faced with negative employees, here are some tips to help you out.
The first thing that you have to do is to check biases. Do not make assumptions and be sure that you reflect on whether or not the individual is actually negative or this is what you personally think. People can say negative things but this does not mean they are negative people. Check biases and see if you judge the individual based on how feedback is delivered.
As an example, in the event that there is an employee that says he/she does not want to work on a project, the first thing to do is ask why. If the employee has valid points and explains the decision, it is not a negative thing.
Be Careful That You Are Not A Part Of A Problem
Adding negative vibes is one of the worst things that you can do as a boss. Employees can be quite frustrating but this does not mean you need to make the situation worse. When a leader is caught saying negative things about team members, everyone starts to think that the leader thinks the same thing about them. You can so easily lose all trust when this happens.
Focus On Facts
No matter the situation, you need to have a conversation with the negative employee. This is true if the person is deliberately destructive and if there is just a communication problem in place. Because of this, being focused on facts is always a lot more important than what you might initially think.
When other people point out some things, you need to get their official perspective. This is best done through a face-to-face conversation. Offer your help and gather as many facts as possible.
If you are the person seeing negativity, start writing down when it happens, where it happens and what was so negative. When it is time to have the conversation, being focused on facts helps find solutions.
Be Specific With Feedback
Last but not least, always be as specific as possible when you offer feedback. Setting boundaries is always an important thing. You should never just highlight the negatives. You want to focus on the things that are good and the things that are bad. If you set boundaries, there is a really good possibility that you can find a solution to the problem.