Neg­a­tives at Work­place

Enterprise - - Contents - By Si­ra­jud­din Aziz

Aliv­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion would never be in de­nial that it is filled with both emo­tions of pos­i­tivism and neg­a­tivism. Ev­ery sin­gle or­gan­i­sa­tion, ev­ery work sta­tion, ev­ery di­vi­sion, is sur­rounded by col­leagues who are un­for­tu­nately ‘pos­sessed’ of nega­tive ten­den­cies.

Such can only see the dark, the very dark clouds in al­most ev­ery facet of life. They are even blind to the prom­ise of the sil­ver lin­ings be­hind these dark clouds. They ig­nore them and hence are obliv­i­ous to the po­ten­tial of the ‘sil­ver lin­ings’ at­tached to dif­fi­cul­ties in work and life. These are seen by the neg­a­tively ori­ented as a sci­en­tific de­cep­tion to loom­ing de­pres­sion of clouds. Lit­tle do they re­alise that even the long­est day has an end.

Neg­a­tively in­clined col­leagues would quickly point loop­holes even in the best of ini­tia­tives. They would never look at half a glass as an op­por­tu­nity; they would only crib and com­plain why it isn’t full. These types of col­leagues are like the hye­nas - they lark in of­fice cor­ri­dors wait­ing for the un­sus­pect­ing pos­i­tive col­leagues and then at­tack them ven­omously with nega­tive news; de­press­ing views, un­sub­stan­ti­ated hearsay that could be of no rel­e­vance to either of them, but it is done with the sole mo­tive to rob the in­di­vid­ual of the pos­i­tive en­ergy. Their job de­scrip­tion they think is to cause in­cor­rect-able pol­lu­tion of minds.

I have al­ways iden­ti­fied these in­di­vid­u­als with the glo­ri­ous nick-name of “cor­po­rate mother-in-laws.” They love the lan­guage of sar­casm and taunt. They en­joy teas­ing. They rel­ish in de­rail­ing peo­ple from their goals.

I had a se­nior col­league in Hong Kong, by de­scent an In­dian, who would re­spond to any credit propo­si­tion with, ‘…….. that I know, but…’ and that ‘but’ al­ways in­vari­ably meant death at ini­ti­a­tion of the trans­ac­tion. None could break through the great wall of neg­a­tivism that he had so lov­ingly built around him­self. It is an­other mat­ter that later in life the same be­came his ca­reer’s prison walls. He en­trapped him­self in neg­a­tiv­ity;g y while the pos­i­tivep world around him moved for­ward. The man who never al­ters his opin­ion is like stand­ing wa­ter, and breeds rep­tile of the mind, says Wil­liam Blake.

In deal­ing with those col­leagues who are af­flicted with this trait, it is best firstly to ac­cept, that we are deal­ing with some bac­te­ria for which no cor­po­rate vac­cine or an­tibi­otic has been found. In fact, it is a stage four can­cer at its very be­gin­ning itself for it is bound to eat away from within the good cells of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Treat­ment there­fore has to be­gin be­fore its lethal on­set. Unchecked it can be­come en­demic and epi­demic.

If recog­ni­tion of the prob­lem in­di­vid­u­als is fast, speedy, and quick, then it is safe to rely upon the age old held opin­ion that neg­a­tivism is im­per­ma­nent be­cause it is on con­flict with man’s in­nate na­ture of be­ing pos­i­tive. A door shut is an op­por­tu­nity that it can be opened and un­locked. Neg­a­tivism in life is but a waste of time. Pos­i­tiv­ity prompts ac­tion. Neg­a­tiv­ity kills pas­sion and ef­fort. As Churchill would have re­marked, I am an op­ti­mist and a pos­i­tive per­son be­cause it does not seem to be much use in be­ing any­thing else.

At the work­place in deal­ing with

these types of in­di­vid­u­als, de­velop a no-non­sense at­ti­tude to the in­truder who would want to spend time with you with no good work at hand but only to bite into your calm­ness and to pol­lute your mind. Be wary of such col­leagues who would oth­er­wise ap­pear out­wardly as good in­ten­tioned and pos­i­tive but in their in­sides re­side oceans of venom wait­ing to be un­leashed upon the shores of pos­i­tive minds.

As man­agers and su­per­vi­sors, adopt a pos­i­tive pos­ture. Let no challenge or ten­sion bring upon vis­i­bil­ity to the on­looker col­league be­cause this is con­sid­ered to be the most op­por­tune time for the ‘bac­te­ria of neg­a­tivism’ to at­tack when the im­mu­nity of pos­i­tive de­fences is low­ered. A man­ager must keep him­self in­su­lated against such at­tacks while be­ing cog­nisant of his own state of mind. In a chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion, when the most pro­found ap­proach is de­manded of the man­ager, it is im­por­tant to avoid exposure to those col­leagues who may at­tach dur­ing such sen­si­tive sit­u­a­tions; in­stead dur­ing pe­ri­ods of busi­ness chal­lenges; a good and sen­si­ble man­ager would be in­tel­li­gent to sur­round him­self with col­leagues who are pos­sessed with pos­i­tive thought, en­ergy, and en­thu­si­asm.

Man­agers must en­sure to de­velop a cold and stoic face in deal­ing with any­one who brings a hear-say with wishes to cre­ate doubts and sus­pi­cions or wants to nar­rate ‘sto­ries’ about oth­ers. A man­ager must guard him­self through a cold stare or do (what I pre­fer to do) give a cold shoul­der; so that no fu­ture nega­tive ad­ven­tur­ism is in­dulged in.

I per­son­ally be­lieve and sub­scribe that all re­ac­tion to nega­tive news is a broad smile or if nec­es­sary a com­ment on the lines of ‘that’s one way of look­ing at things.’ A man­ager must learn to keep com­po­sure when hear­ing things that are likely to cause in­ter­nal re­vul­sion; let there be no fa­cial ex­pres­sion of anger or feel­ings of dis­traught; re­main placid and calm.

At­tempt to end con­ver­sa­tions with nega­tive col­leagues, by ask­ing them to view things dif­fer­ently. Work upon them slowly for con­ver­sion to pos­i­tiv­ity of thought. I am cer­tain only a few dosages would al­ter their mental makeup bar­ring the diehard and the un­for­tu­nate. We must learn from the bee that sucks the sweet­est honey from the bit­ter­est of flow­ers. Deal gen­tly to get them on rails, oth­er­wise a strong re­tal­ia­tory re­ac­tion would usher more neg­a­tives. At times it is the con­sul­ta­tion with the ig­no­rant that gives ac­cess to un­known wis­dom.

There is an Ir­ish say­ing count your joys in­stead of your woes; count your friends in­stead of your foes. Try to quote this to those who are in need of a re­minder.

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