Deal with a negative member at work smartly

It’s all in the attitude!

Not even all fingers in the fist are of equal size. Same applies to your team members as well. Owing to their own behavioural expressions and attitude, handling a team is always a challenge. Negativity in the team and conflicts always loom large when a particular member fails to understand the situation and the expectations.

Here are seven ‘smart’ and ‘influential’ ways to deal with a negative team member in your office:

Read the Curriculum Vitae

The first step of forging a team is getting to know the individual. If a team member is not optimistic, try to skim past the curriculum vitae to understand the background of the employee. Educational background and the use of words in the CV throw a hint at the professional approach.

If you want to deal with a negative team member, analyze the handwriting. You can form the premise of what could lead to flare ups in the team due to a particular member.

Hit a conversation on miscellaneous topics

Nobody can remain bitter for long. Crack a conversation with the team member on neutral topics. Identify the areas he/she likes. Sports, entertainment and gourmet items remain the safest topic to build trust. Try to understand what makes the member edgy. Is it the work or is it the presence of a particular individual in the team? Whatever that is: Just try to begin every meeting on a neutral term.

Shift focus

There are two ways of doing it. Let the negative member start the meeting. You can give the member challenging tasks on team building. May be, the simplest way to start it is by asking him/her to introduce the meeting agenda and then line up the main pointers for others. A progressive team is one that lets the weaker member take accountability.

Rate Performance with Attitude

A member could be prodigal in individual tasks, but feels intimidated when bushed into a team. If the performance is brilliant, nourish the individual’s interpersonal skills. Let him take a battery of surveys and tests. Read out excerpts from books on self-management and team-building. In a team, the performance of an individual may get diluted leading to bitter thoughts. Ensure that the performance remains at par with the rising familiarity.

Use Negativity as a source of inspiration

Dissent is a great way to indentify risks and hurdles that could crop up in the middle of a meeting. A team needs at least one member who always expresses the dissent or remarks something negative. It maintains the balance. Negativity when channelled towards productivity can work wonders especially if a new product/ idea is underway.

Avoid gossips

Don’t try to cover up the negativity. Don’t gossip about it either. Maintain the professional decorum with the team member who is trying to pass off negativity as an ‘attention gaining’ tactic. Don’t make malicious comments about your team member, no matter how hard it is to cope.

Take up meditation

Create a Zen-like calm within the team with positive breaks from professional tasks. Meditate together and read scriptures from different sources to build optimism, calmness and faith within and outside.

If you can figure the source of conflict, you can deal with any negativity effectively in office.

How have you effectively dealt with a negaitive colleague or employee in your organiation? Do share your story.



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