The negativity that flows from workplace whiners can spread “kind of like a cancer,” says Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist for workplaceand well-being.
If you’re struggling to remain an optimist in the midst of workplace whiners, try these tactics.
- Keep your own comments positive. Don’t join in the complaining, even if you agree with some of the whiner’s points.
- Turn the tables. Change the subject by asking, “What’s going well?”
- Ask about a solution. Query the whiner as to how he would propose to fix the problem.
- Suggest a straightforward approach. Tell her “It sounds like you and he have something to talk about.”
— Adapted from “What to Do With a Workplace Whiner,” Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal.