Friday, September 9, 2016

How do YOU Deal with Negative Ned?

I recently read an article by Gwen Morgan revolving around chronic complainers within an organization. We’ve all encountered those negative Ned’s and Nancy’s who tip the scales from just being negative to becoming toxic with all those they encounter. Sadly, if not put in check, inappropriate complaining can become contagious costing productivity and eroding morale within an organization.

Here are some tips for redirecting the conversation and helping the complainer move forward rather than wallowing in their “pity-party.”

1. LISTEN…really listen as many chronic complainers feel that they are NOT being heard. Validate what it is they are saying. That’s not to say you need to agree, but rather be empathetic to what it is they are saying.

2. REFRAME THE SITUATION…many times the complainer simply needs to SEE a different perspective. Again, they need not agree to the perspective, but just see that there may be 2 sides to consider.

3. CHANGE YOUR RESPONSE…complainers are energy drains for their audiences. Often, their negative talk can energize them because it places blame on others and boosts their self-esteem, says David M. Long, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the College of William & Mary. So, like other communication styles, accepting that this is the individual’s way of communicating without taking it personally can be an effective coping technique

4. ASK FOR SOLUTIONS…sometimes the complainer actually has solutions and/or suggestions which are helpful.

5. CALL IT OUT…there are times that a leader must simply hit the mule over the head with a 2X4 and call out the inappropriate behavior…

Of course on any given day any or none of this suggestions may or may not work…but hang in there, even water cuts rock…eventually…

Be good to yourself…

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