Have you ever worked with someone who spread negativity around 24×7 (sort of like the dust-cloud that always followed Charles Schultz’ character Pigpen)? On the other hand, have you worked with someone who could put a smile on your face without visibly trying?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’ll probably see where today’s post is coming from and where it’s heading.
Negativity spreaders tend to produce little or nothing in the way of positive results, either in the short term or the long term. They’re too busy spreading doom and gloom, either from personal obsession with the things they see as being wrong in their life (work or otherwise) or some other factor that leads them to exhibit unrelenting pessimism.
When you have the misfortune to work with or for a negativity spreader, you can find yourself struggling to maintain an upbeat attitude and a positive momentum in your job and your career. One thing you can do upfront is to stay alert and aware when you have job interviews with various people at a company. However, I don’t know of any surefire solution to avoid winding up in this situation.
Your best bet if it does happen to you is to look for ways to distance yourself from the individual, assuming that can be done appropriately. If the person is your boss, however, you might need to begin quietly investigating other employment opportunities.
A good side note here is that you want to make sure you aren’t being (or becoming) a negativity spreader! Anyone can have a bad day, but if that hangs on over time, it needs attention.
Being a positive energizer at work doesn’t guarantee job success, but it can sure provide a strong foundation for that success.
I read an article a few days ago that offered some interesting insights on this subject: “Positive Energy Is What Markets Ideas Within An Organization.” The article noted that people who have positive energy deliver much higher performance in their work. It also said: “Not only were energizers better performers, but people who were closely connected to energizers were also better performers. In other words, energizers raise the overall level of performance around them.”
The article lists 8 ways to make sure you’re a positive energizer, including (1) do what you say you’re going to do; (2) make it bigger than your wants; and (3) criticize ideas, not people. It only takes a few minutes to read, and I think it’s worth spending that bit of time.
If people tend to avoid you whenever you approach them at work, you’re probably not a positive energizer! Seriously, you’ll most likely find that you don’t have to struggle too hard to get cooperation from them, persuade them to contribute to your team, etc. Also, you might receive performance review comments or off-the-cuff remarks indicating that people are not only willing but eager to work with or for you. That’s a super-worthwhile career goal, and if you invest the right kind of effort, it’s within your reach.