Who are negative people? Probably, there is sufficient need to understand who they are first before we determine how to effectively manage them. These are people with "poisonous attitudes and behaviour patterns who can negatively influence other around them". Negativity can always be expressed in subtle ways and normally erodes success or performance. Therefore handling our job responsibilities can be very challenging without having to deal with major personality problems. Negativity can be very costly especially in an organization due to absenteeism, loss of goods by the negative staff. Negative workers normally come in a variety of shapes and sizes with some who spread rumours, gossip or bad mouth their supervisors.Almost every organization has a negative or more persons. They may be very irritating most of the times, since when you are for a given idea, they always oppose it. According to Pell, these people always have a reason that what you want to accomplish just cannot be done. Normally, they can tear down a team with their pessimism. It is also important to determine why the negativity since it may stem from some real or perceived past mistreatment or it could be a personality effect. The reasons we must deal with the negativity are very pertinent since these people have a much greater change of experiencing negative stress and distress and more likely to experience dissatisfaction with themselves and also work. According to Kravitz, the results of negativity include: absenteeism and use of medical benefits hence lower productivity and happiness (1995). By learning how to cope with negativity, individuals are more likely to find their life and work more satisfying and productive.Negativity has been for long with us and it is very important to understand where it comes from in various individuals then the management of it will be easy. Some people, according to Kravitz, appear to be born with a genetic predisposition toward negativity while other becomes negative as a result of their environment (1995). There are five major internal sources of negativity that will enable managers respond to negativity and the people affected by this attitude. These five include motivation by needs; motivation by values; attitudes, norms and self-esteem.
Motivation: What motivates a person can help mangers determine why people are negative. There are two drives that motivate people: values and needs. The manager can be able to utilize these in order to eliminate the negativity in people who suffer due to lack of motivation simple because, they were not appreciated or probably their work was criticized. Needs motivation would include things such as security, love and growth while value motivation being a principle or belief we have learned and developed over time (Kravitz, 1995). In the 1960s, Abraham Maslow described the various level of needs with the most basic being survival and security, once these are met, nurturing needs that include love and belonging are in the second level. After meeting the first two needs, people often seek for opportunities to grow, develop and achieve in life. According to Kravitz, people who are operating in the survival level tend to be negative while those at the growth level are more likely positively oriented (1995).Employers or managers are in a position where they must have people view the glass as half full and not half-empty. This may not be very easy but they must ensure to encourage a positive look at self and things. Practicing and encouraging people to talk positively and viewing the positive side of things by themselves as well as about the other people. The more they ensure they are saying positive things about others, the more negativity is eliminated from the self and from others as well bringing in self-esteem and self concept that influences the move from negativity to a positive thinking and attitude.Motivation is therefore mandatory for any reduction of negativity in the organization and even in general people's lives. The growth need in employees and people will be satisfied through offering training opportunities both in-house or from an outside source. Secondly, offer employees the opportunity to team up with someone else o learn new skills. According to Topchick, there is need to empower people through allowing staff and other people to make decisions that affect their work. This would signify that the people have some significant amount of responsibility and can get confidence in leadership as they are being nurtured to take responsibility. Secondly, managers should allow people to work on their own without direct supervision. At times when people are left to work on their own without supervision, they normally realize the kind of trust their managers have on them. This basically warrants the need to achieve because everybody who has to work with minimal supervision or none at all will always tend to try and prove themselves right or capable to deliver. According to Topchik, managers must be aware of what not to do if they seek to improve and eliminate negativity at work places. During the process of managing negative people, managers should avoid the following pitfalls:
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Managers punishing their excellent performers. Giving them more work to do in order not to have them attend conferences. The messages conveyed are that it does not pay to be so good and these eventually would result in poor quality of work and negativity increasing.Rewarding the poorly performing employees will mean that they are given less work while raising their pay and bonuses. When these are done, other employees will automatically feel unhappy and become very negative with whatever they do and the environment around them.There is need for any manager to be very sensitive to creativity and the needs of his or her staff and design better ways of meeting their needs while achieving the organization's goals. Encouraging employees to have a creative atmosphere has a much more positive culture since very rarely do you find negativity in an organization that promotes creative thinking and innovation (2001). Encouraging people to be creative requires that a number of things be done by the manger which include: Presenting problems in the work places as challenging opportunities; making sure that employees realize that creative ideas are wanted and expected from all; inviting creative participation from all those who will be affected by a decision; it is needful for the managers to tolerate failure as an expected part of creativity by making it safe to take risks; managers must recognize and reward a creative contribution; endevour to provide all staff with raining in the basics of creativity and lastly, getting to know employees as individuals to learn their creativity needs(Topchik, 2001). It is always very evident that certain negativism stems from organizational changes; while change is unavoidable, it is then very important for managers to discuss the need for the change before making a decision to implement the same or not to ensure that certain negative minded people with regard to change can remain productive and give results to the organization. At this case, it is important, also, for the managers to state clearly the benefits and have people involved in the implementation of any kind of changes.In conclusion, learning environments in organizations normally enable people to get to trust and become loyal to their company. By meeting people's motivational needs, managers allow people to perform at their best and also encouraging creativity to ensure a positive approach to work. The best thing when passing messages to negative people is to implement a method or strategy where by all staff understand that performance is expected from each person and this could probably be included in the performance review process and by tying the same to salary or bonus review would quickly get the message that negativity is not tolerated. Negative people at this instance would clearly see the direct connection between negativity and how it affects his or her review, salary increase or promotional opportunities and trainings (Topchik, 2001).
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