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Turn your team’s negativity around

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Are negative attitudes among your team members getting you down — and dragging down results? Some sage advice from the experts:

- Set an example. If you complain about other managers (or higher-ups), or roll your eyes at difficult customers, or whine about your workload or lack of resources, your team members will do the same. It doesn't matter if you're just venting and not really serious; your employees may not feel the responsibility you do, as a manager, to keep those emotions in check or try to see things from others' point of view. Instead, they'll just echo your bad vibes — and then expand on them.

- Strive for consistency. Managers who treat some people differently from others, or say one thing and do another, breed negativity. This doesn't mean you can't be flexible — which also goes far to create job satisfaction. It just means you have to be flexible with everyone to the same degree. That's harder than going by the book, but it brings rewards in increased morale and performance. But it's better to go by the book than to make up rules as you go along, or to develop a reputation for being fickle or unfair.

- Jump in quickly. Don't let an employee's crankiness go unaddressed. If you've noticed it, then it's a big enough issue to affect results. But when you do jump in, and meet with team members whose negativity is poisoning the workplace, don't presume that you know what their problems are or how to solve them. Sometimes, all you need to do is listen to an employee's grievances; it certainly doesn't hurt.

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