4 ways to defeat negativity and build morale

On Sunday afternoon, my wife asked if I would cut down the diseased grapefruit tree in our backyard. I used my much loved Wolfgarten tree pruning knife, made of German steel, to do the job. As I was sawing back and forth, I thought of how the knife’s small, sharp teeth were so quickly and easily cutting through the thick trunk the tree had probably developed over the last five to seven years. In fifteen minutes the job was done!

Negative words act very much like the teeth of that saw. No matter how positive and upbeat a team’s culture may be, negativity unchecked can quickly cut through the strong fabric of a team’s morale.

As a Business Owner or Manager, here are four things you can do with your sales people and support staff, to reduce the damaging effect of negativity,

  1. Reduce your tolerance for negativity in your work place
    You approve what you accept, of yourself and others. Set the standard that if people have a problem, they must address it only to those who can provide them with a solution.
  2. Assess the words you are speaking in public
    Are they full of hope or hopeless? It is essential not to allow your pressures to shape the words you speak to people. If you allow your fears and challenges to dominate your speech, they will undermine the very things you are trying to achieve through your people – growth and success.
  3. Confront people who are generally negative
    As hard it may seem, it is essential to have a frank and honest chat with staff who are generally negative. Unchecked, these people will spread their attitude, which will result in increased employee dissatisfaction and eventually poor performance and greater turnover. As a Business Owner or Manager , you need to do this for your business and for others who might not have the courage to do so.
  4. Make people take responsibility for the problem
    People complain when they feel they are not in control. Ask them ‘What are you doing about it?’ For example, if sales are poor, ask how much effort your sales people are putting into generating leads and closing prospects?
    On a positive note, as you can consciously reduce negativity, you can also increase and build morale. When you do, people begin to believe that change and improvement is possible. They become more engaged, work harder towards goals, enjoy the satisfaction of things coming to fruition and stay longer. Win-win!

So, start by reducing and removing those sharp teeth (negativity), which can so easily destroy your team’s culture and motivation. The results will speak for themselves.

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