Everybody’s got a few negative people in their life.


Lots of leaders have difficulty dealing with them. It’s hard to motivate them, they tend to pull the rest of the team down and their “vibes” can be downright unpleasant.

Heck, I know how hard that can be.


For a long time, when I was a young leader, I thought I just had to “cope” with it.

Turns out, that’s not the case at all. There are things you CAN do to be proactive in dealing with negative people.


Create emotional boundaries for yourself:

  • Identify the “triggers” that set you off, so that you are not reacting, but rather responding to their negativity in as positive way as you can.
  • Seek to understand them a little better and add some compassion into your communication with them.
  • Remember their negative behavior most likely has little to do with you and may stem from their own inability to see the positive side of things.


Make an effort to turn around negative situations:

  • Some people who struggle with negativity don’t understand their own habit patterns well.
  • Listen to what they have to say and then interject, “What’s good about that?” or “What’s positive here?” or “Can you tell me the positive side of the story?”
  • If this is someone who comes to stand by your desk and whines while you are working, activate those boundaries, kindly, and let them know you have your own work to do and need to do it in a quiet and focused manner.
  • “No Whining Zone,” Yes, I had a sign on my door.  Perhaps it was a little tactless, but when a whiner came in, I would smile and point to the sign. It helped me open up the subject and discuss what was important – creative solutions to problems!


Step 3: Have the difficult conversation

  • If negativity is pulling down the team, upsetting the customers, or otherwise interfering with business getting down, a Positive Leader needs to skillfully deal with it.
  • Identify the behaviors you need to see changed and why
  • Remember, negative emotions have a purpose, but when overused, can affect the energy of the whole team.
  • Explain the importance of positive culture in creating experiences for employees AND customers.
  • Explain how important it is to see the negative view AND how important it is to be able to view every situation from many different angles.


Of course, there are thousands of suggestions on how to deal with negative people, but awareness of these three is a great start to creating a more positive culture!


If your business could use a little more positivity and happiness pick up the phone and call JoAnna at 561-279-0027. A complimentary consultation awaits!


PS 54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World is the perfect gift for anyone who needs a little positivity “Coaching.”

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