How to prevent negativity?

Are there negative people in your office?

Not everyone who seems negative is.  Perhaps they have a high need to succeed.  Questions that seem negative are attempts to figure out if the “preferred future” is desirable and achievable. Once questions are adequately addressed, they go like gangbusters.

In other cases, it may take a “slow processor,” a day or two to make sense of an out-of-the-blue proposal.  Needing time to process isn’t negativity. For many it’s normal. If you’re a speed demon slow processors may be helpful. Maybe you need them.

Skillful leaders adapt to the information needs of others.

Experience indicates that understanding a person’s need for information or drive to succeed allows leaders to interpret “negativity” in new ways.

Conclusion or process?

For example, you’ve been walking around for two weeks mulling over an important project. Stepping into a manager’s office you unload two weeks of mull-time in fifteen minutes. No wonder they seem negative. Giving others the benefit of your conclusions without including them in the idea-development process creates “negativity.”

Furthermore, you may find one-on-one meetings with slow processors useful to smooth the path for important initiatives. I read somewhere that the meeting before the meeting is the most important meeting.

Skillful leaders prevent negativity

In some cases, leaders cause unnecessary negativity in others. However, skillful leaders deal with root causes of “negativity” rather than visible expressions.

Speak to causes in order to avoid expressions and you’ll have fewer negative people on your team.


Have you seen a negative person transformed into a positive person? What changed them?

Have you been transformed from negativity by a skillful leader?