Negative energy is poison in a workplace, and in a small office or team, it can make or break your team’s ability to succeed. There are immediate steps you can take to counter negativism such as addressing it head-on and showing your team you are an honest leader that has their back.
Listen to the Naysayers
Often it is the naysayers that are the most honest members of your team. They may lack the ability to professionally communicate their feelings in a non-emotional or judgmental way, but it’s important to listen to what they are telling you. Sure, it’s difficult to hear criticism or be told, ‘That won’t work.’ But as a leader, it’s your role to ask the tough questions of, ‘Why, won’t it work? If we want this outcome, how would you propose getting there?’
The truth is, people typically want to do the right thing rather than complain. Often, negativity is confused with being practical and pragmatic. By truly listening – not to respond, but to hear – you can gain insight from a place of experience and perspective that you otherwise would not have seen.
When all decisions are made by the top leadership and pushed down, employees can feel a loss of control and frustration. It can also damage confidence and create a negative environment. Employees are motivated by autonomy, which means allowing some of the decision making to be made by individuals. Examples of this are work hours, work locations and selecting team roles for new projects.
There may not be room for choice on deadlines or budgetary restraints, but this is when you should reach out for creative ideas on how to meet these challenges. Your team, when properly motivated, can be a tremendous resource for you.
There are times when admitting you don’t have all the answers, or you don’t know why management has determined a new policy or objective can be extremely effective. Your team wants you to be relatable to them. By showing, you are not perfect, you humanize yourself to them.
Leadership Starts at the Top
Maintaining a positive environment starts at the top and filters down. Frequent and diverse communication to keep all employees informed of key initiatives, new processes or procedures keeps your team engaged. By offering a forum where they can ask questions, employees will gain a sense of control, trust and community.
Build a Successful Team With the Jarvi Group
If 2019 is a year of expansion for your company, reach out the Jarvi Group today. Our experienced recruiters will find the talent your company needs to be successful.