No matter the form in which negativity is conveyed, it is damaging in the workplace. It may be found in gossip, attitude, general communication and can even distort a business’s outlook. For instance, negatively can lead to distrust within the team, decrease engagement or liability issues if it continues into harassment.

Negativity can suck the energy from everything and everybody in its path. Therefore, we can feel drained after spending time with someone who has a negative state of mind. It is not surprising we feel this way as negativity is not a person’s natural state of mind; it takes a lot more energy to fuel. It is a ruthless chain that can quickly spread through an entire workplace, sabotaging productivity, performance, and generally the joy of going to work.

Unless it is quickly and directly addressed, the consequences prove detrimental to a workplace environment, even to the company itself.

It is also should be noted that you should not go out of your way to ignore, suppress, or bottle up your feelings as well. It is also very healthy to have emotions of sadness, stress, and anger, but you go about dealing with these emotions. Not all bad feelings are bad, but if these feelings become chronic, it turns into toxic negativity.

Identifying negativity in the workplace:

  1. Expecting the worse and focusing on it
  2. Complaining (this is huge)
  3. Pointing fingers of blame, highlighting mistakes another makes
  4. Talking / gossiping about others
  5. Putting down others

Tips on how to avoid and remove negativity:

  1. Leading by Example

Showing your team and colleagues how to communicate and positively interact while working alongside your team also builds trust and expands your skills and knowledge.

Treat everyone fairly and equally, holding everyone to the same standard, and avoiding feelings of inferiority. Watch what you say. Always be mindful as you do not know who may be listening. Remember that positive energy and enthusiasm are contagious and easily spreads.

  1. Stop Blaming

It seems easier to point the finger at others when you make a mistake. Playing the blame game never works. Research shows that people who blame others for their mistakes lose status, learn less, and perform worse than those who own up to their mistakes. Take the opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow. Confidently taking ownership of your failures positions you as a leader and a responsible individual. 

Do not see mistakes as a problem rather as a stepping stone in finding solutions. Not taking ownership and responsibility for our errors is missing out on a chance to learn.

  1. Stop complaining

A real great rule to live by is telling someone a problem more than once; you are complaining. If it bothers you enough to complain about the situation daily, act or make a change. There is a fine line between communicating and complaining about a problem. Complaining is very poisonous to you and others around you. Take control of the situation that ails you and address it.

  1. Stop Mind Reading

Assumptions, trying to read other minds accelerates fear that already exists. It increases anxiety and a sense of constant panic. It is important to remember that your thoughts are just that, your thoughts, and not real circumstances.

  1. Practice Gratitude

It is rather important to appreciate and practice gratitude. Being grateful for the things around you and appreciating the small things in life play a huge factor in overall satisfaction in life. Actively practicing gratitude regularly produces more positive feelings and pushes the negativity from yourself and your surroundings.