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Aug
17
Two Responses to Negative Coworkers

by Kevin R. Foley, M.Ed., LPC

Working is beyond a job. Working is an emotional experience. On one hand we accept the challenge to help a company serve people. On the other hand we agree to work with strangers and try to work like a family. We gravitate toward those who are more like us at work. Every so often, we get the unpleasant experience of working with a negative co-workers. I think there are two main ways to respond to "Negative Ned" and "Negative Nancy" at work.

Encourage Possibilities

Negative thinkers usually have a closed mindset. When faced with a challenge, they tend to look at ways it is impossible to overcome. I have found the opposite response works unusually well. When they say, "It can't be done," I turn to them with a single response..."If it could be done how could we do it?" This forces the brain to consider possibilities.

Emotional Control

The reality is you and I cannot control their negativity. When situations at work get increasingly frustrating with Ned or Nancy, the best response may be your own value to the job. Having a healthy emotional control requires you to be best at considering the bigger picture. You came to work to do a great job. Focusing on your own emotional gifts and talents will negate the Negative Ned and Nancy. "Rise above it" and your emotional control will neutralize the closed mindset of others.

I learned a long time ago that we ought to have very healthy hobbies and emotions outside of work. When we know the purpose of our Life Journey, dealing with Negative Ned and Negative Nancy becomes easy.

How do you handle negativity in the workplace?

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