One of the key staff members in this department was negative and critical. This manager, we will call Marci, decided she needed to change their attitude because it was bringing everyone down.
Marci (not her real name) has been a manager for about 3 years and loves her role and the people she oversees. She is very “tolerant” of individual differences but lately has felt the negativity get out of hand.
She started coaching for her own leadership and realized the negativity was manipulating her approach with the entire team. This one person was the only one whose needs were being heard and the negativity kept others from sharing their ideas.
What kept Marci from saying anything to this person, they are the most senior and the one with specialized training and she was afraid to lose this person.
The Challenge of Negativity
Negativity is not just bad for morale it is 10x bad. Studies have shown that negativity cancels out positive interventions by 10x.
When negative people join a group the impact of their negativity is experienced within minutes even when there is positive person trying to offset that negativity.
Marci’s decision to do something was right on time because the fall out from “ignoring” people like this” is felt for a long time even after than person leaves.
Finding Common Ground
Marci was not a seasoned leader however she had seen others try to confront this person and nothing changed. She decided she would have to find something they both could get behind. What they had in common were their desire to have a top notch team And while there person was negative, he was skilled and very astute.
As Marci talked with him and built up some trust, she learned he wanted a position as Clinical Supervisor, because he enjoyed teaching and training new people in the technical aspects of the job, but that position was eliminated. He became disappointed and gave up on that dream. This is when his negativity really took off.
Marci tapped into that passion for training staff and engaged him in the task of setting up new protocols. They both realized that his negativity was untapped potential and when put to use he was able to transform it into critical thinking. He set up the protocols and is being groomed for additional responsibilities.
What changed in his life was recognition for his skills, appreciation for his hard work and a demonstration of the appreciation by showcasing his talents in this role.