It’s a beautiful day, you like your job, you’ve got a good boss, and the universe is unfolding as it should. The next thing you know, that negative coworker of yours walks in with that black cloud over his (her) head, and sucks the life right out of you. He is the poster boy for bad attitude. His job sucks, his boss is a moron, he doesn’t get paid enough, and he’s got problems at home. “I’m not a negative person,” he’ll tell you, “I’m just being honest.”
Honest perhaps, but completely insensitive and uncaring to the impact he has on those around him. Short of taking drastic measures, like crazy-gluing his lips shut, there are few effective options for dealing with this person. Here are a couple of strategies, however, that you may find useful:
1. First and foremost, avoid him as much as you possibly can. Negative people are an insidious poison that can dramatically impact your happiness and job satisfaction.
2. Come up with some little pointed remarks to throw at him whenever he says something negative, like:
a. “Slow day in the positive attitude department today?”
b. “Thank you for putting that cloud in our silver lining.”
c. “Have you ever thought of a career as a de-motivational speaker?”
Make sure you say them with a big smile on your face, and go about your business. It won’t change his overall negative attitude, but after a few repetitions of this, you’ll find that he is a little less expressive with his negativity when you’re around.
[This is from the Archive Project – where we are attempting to get 10 years of Winning at Work on the web! Original publication date: 3 October, 2004]
Shaun Belding is CEO of The Belding Group and has been consulting and speaking on customer experience, employee engagement and workplace performance for 23 years