Part III – A Case Study
arts I & II of this blog series described the problems of negativity in the workplace and suggested a way of starting to change that. Read those two blogs and then read on to an example of how one manager put this into play during a tough time in his organization.
I had a client who had been a senior manager for over 20 years in the same mid-sized organization. Recently many changes had taken place and the culture had turned fairly negative. He was having a difficult time dealing with this. As he and I talked about it, he realized how he was getting sucked into complaining about how bad things were. After we talked about negativity, rapport, and pacing & leading, he said, here’s what I am going to do. I am going to acknowledge how other people feel, but I will no longer get pulled into it. And I am going to do one thing every day that I think will advance this organization. And he did. He took marketing steps. He complimented people. He took employees out to lunch. He pointed out the things that were going right. Immediately, he reported feeling much better and shifting from dreading work to finding it more tolerable. What he found most amazing though was after a few weeks of this behavior, he saw other people starting to change their attitude as well. Then one day another manager who had been one of the most negative people (since the organizational changes) came into his office and said, “I am letting go of what has happened. I realize that it is bringing me down and I am moving on.” My client said to me, “That night I was driving home and for the first time in a year I thought, “I am excited to come back to work tomorrow.”