Constantly negative people can drag you down. Don’t be negative in response, but positive and optimistic.
Work is hard enough without the energy-sapping, morale-killing behavior of the people around you. And the long recession has made the problem even worse. “Most people wrongly assume that their tasks and responsibilities are what’s grinding them down,” says Jon Gordon, author of the book Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (Wiley). “However, while ‘work’ is a convenient scapegoat, the real culprit is often the negativity of the people you work with and for, their constant complaining, and the pessimistic culture that is now the norm in a lot of workplaces.” He uses the term “drainer” for colleagues who suck the life out of a team. If you see these any of these draining behaviors in your co-workers – or recognize them in yourself – it is time for an attitude adjustment. Gordon, a consultant who also authored The No Complaining Rule, says the right environment can make the job easier and workers more productive, and he provides quick suggestions on turning around some familiar bad habits, too.
Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.
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