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Improve Productivity in Your Workplace by Eliminating Negativity

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Julie Kowalski

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Improve Productivity in Your Workplace by Eliminating Negativity

  1. 1. PMI Central Indiana PDD October 23, 2015 Improve Productivity in Your Workplace by Eliminating Negativity! Presented by: Julie M. Kowalski Of Spizzerinctum Group LLC Spizzerinctumgroup@gmail.com 262-993-4883
  2. 2. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 2 Workplace Negativity Workplace Negativity is rapidly “emerging as a disease of the 21st century corporation” Negativity is the number one productivity problem in the workplace According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US companies lose around $3 billion a year due to the effects of negative attitudes and behaviors Negativity can be the deciding factor between success and failure for both workers and organizations
  3. 3. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 3 4 Ways We Communicate Negativity Verbally  We say things such as "Bad idea”, “It will never work," or "This is such a terrible place to work" Vocally  We complain, whine, or are sarcastic  We sigh, make sounds Visually  We frown, avoid eye contact, or use inappropriate gestures  We have negative cartoons posted in our workstations Silently  We tolerate / allow negative / wrong behaviors to continue
  4. 4. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 4 Workplace Negativity A habit is defined as something we do automatically, without thinking about it. Negativity is a habit. Being positive is also a habit. Negativity can be someone's normal reaction to life, or it could come up when one is stressed, anxious, depressed, annoyed, angry, or disappointed.
  5. 5. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 5 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 1. Look INWARD Are you part of, or do you contribute to the problem? Ways we are part of the problem / contribute to negativity:  Allowing ourselves to get caught up in the drama  Listening to negative talk WITHOUT offering solutions  Validating negative talk  Ignoring  
  6. 6. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 6 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Is the tone and style of the organization a reflection of your own? If everyone in the department is uptight and on edge, consider how testy you are. If there’s lots of gossip and back stabbing, examine your own pattern of communication. If everyone is stale and cynical, look to see whether the flame still burns in you.
  7. 7. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 7 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Is the tone and style of the organization a reflection of your own? - continued If there’s a lot of mistrust, examine how candid and direct you yourself are. If there’s too much competition and conflict, ask yourself whether you are inadvertently, or even deliberately, pitting people against each other. If your staff members are overwhelmed and exhausted, are you placing sufficient value on their personal lives and well being—as well as your own?
  8. 8. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 8 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 2. Communicate to Alleviate Check your language  Are you using positive words?  Is your body saying one thing and your mouth another?  Did you plan out the conversation or just wing it?  Do you have appropriate responses for objections?  Have you removed bias’s and filters?  Are you communicating or telling?
  9. 9. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 9 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 2. Communicate to Alleviate - continued Are you a good listener? An important aspect of communicating well is listening well. A positive listener makes the person who is speaking feel valued by demonstrating interest in a sincere way. Am I a positive listener? •I give encouragement to the person who is speaking and reassure him or her that I'm interested. True or False •I respond to the speaker, 'Tell me more about that.' True or False •I echo or paraphrase important messages to let the speaker know I'm actively listening. True or False •I ask specific questions and listen for clues as to what the speaker's deeper interest in the subject may be. True or False
  10. 10. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 10 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 2. Communicate to Alleviate - continued Are you a good listener? Am I a negative listener? •I say to the speaker, 'I know just what you mean.' True or False •I glance away from the speaker while he or she is talking. True or False •I frequently turn the conversation back to myself to share my opinions or ideas. True or False •I often think I know the other person's point of view before he or she has shared it. True or False
  11. 11. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 11 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Creating a Supportive Climate The way in which we consistently communicate over time creates “the climate” of our workplace! Are you building a Supportive or Defensive climate?
  12. 12. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 12 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Supportive Defensive Descriptive “It’s been a hectic day.” Evaluative “I hate it when people are so demanding.” Collaborative “We can work on it together, or you can give it a first shot and then we can finalize it together. Which works best for you?” Controlling “I don’t know, you will have to figure it out.” Empathetic “I really appreciate you taking the extra time to think of multiple solutions. Most people wouldn’t have done that. I think either one will work. Which do you think we should do?” Neutral “Either way will work.” Equal “Pat, how would you like to handle this?” Superior “I’ve been here a lot longer than you, and we have to ….” Flexible “I can either wait for you to locate the document or you can email it to me as soon as you find it. What do you prefer?” Rigid “I will stand here and wait until you find it.”
  13. 13. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 13 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 3. Recognize the difference between normal complaining and destructive negative behaviors 3 Reasons why most negative people are unaware that others perceive them as negative: 1.Negative people believe there is nothing wrong with their behavior. They have always behaved this way, and they never think about their attitude.
  14. 14. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 14 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace 3 Reasons why most negative people are unaware that others perceive them as negative – continued 2.Negative people see others as negative and think that if others are negative, it is OK for them to be negative as well. Or, in some organizations, negativity becomes the norm, and one learns to behave like others.
  15. 15. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 15 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace 3 Reasons why most negative people are unaware that others perceive them as negative - continued 3.Most negative people do not get feedback on their negativity. Team members may feel that it is up to their leader to give feedback to the negativist. Customers may not say anything but just stay away. Employees are probably afraid to confront their negative bosses.
  16. 16. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 16 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 4. Help people recognize their negative habits By focusing on behaviors (and performance), not personality, negativity can be changed. If a team member does not recognize his or her negative habit, we need to give that person feedback on it.
  17. 17. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 17 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 4. Help people recognize their negative habits - continued Give feedback not meaningless praise and / or criticism What is the difference?
  18. 18. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 18 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Praise / Criticism Constructive Feedback You did a great job, good work! The contributions you made on this project were a big help. I noticed that the work you produced was thorough and accurate. In addition, whenever I needed help in coordinating the team and managing the project schedule, you stepped in and covered for me, or gave me your assistance, which kept the team and project on schedule. Thank you so much for your contributions to helping make this project a success. You were not much help on this project. You were really ineffective. I hope this is not the best that you can do. Tom, I have some concerns regarding your role on the sales presentation project. As I explained at the beginning of the project, your role was to manage the project in terms of keeping people focused on their assignments and ensuring that all of the interim actions were completed on time. I did not see that occur. For example, many of the team members came to me with questions about schedules, after they contacted you, and you did not respond. Patty came to me asking when she needed to complete the testing of the program and I asked if she talked to you and she said she left you two voicemails and emailed you. Finally as you know actions 4,5,and 6 did not get completed on time and the whole team had to work late last week and come in on Saturday to finish the presentation. Tom, what specific actions do we need to take to ensure that this will not occur again? Do you provide Feedback or Do you provide meaningless Praise / Criticism?
  19. 19. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 19 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 4. Help people recognize their negative habits - continued Acknowledge underlying causes for the negative attitude. As we know, negativity has many causes. How might we start a conversation?
  20. 20. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 20 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 4. Help people recognize their negative habits - continued Describe the current negative habit in specific terms •“At staff meetings, I often hear you disagree with people even before they are finished talking.” •“At the client meeting yesterday you shared your opinion before the client even had a chance to talk about their needs.” •“This morning at the staff meeting I felt that your answer to Steve’s question regarding the timing of the deliverable was stated in a sarcastic way. Instead of saying “when ever I get it to you,” you could have said “Steve when do you need it by?”
  21. 21. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 21 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 5. Help the person “see” why S/he needs to change and to take responsibility for changing his/her behaviors It is ultimately the responsibility of the negative person to change his or her negative attitude and behaviors at work. As a team member or boss, you need to help your colleague recognize this and to have him or her take ownership for changing. How can we do this?
  22. 22. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 22 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Describe the impact the negative behavior is having When you disagree with someone without letting them finish talking, you are viewed as someone who is always challenging the boss's authority and not supporting the company. When we give the client our opinion before they have the opportunity to talk about their needs, they do not feel as if we have their best interest at heart and may find another vendor. When you give people sarcastic responses, they will stop coming to you to ask for input and you may find yourself left in the dark.
  23. 23. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 23 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 6. Identify acceptable behaviors to replace the negative, inappropriate behaviors Even though it is the job of the negativist to change his or her actions, you may need to help. The person may not know what to do differently to come across as more positive. It will often be up to you to specify exactly what that is.
  24. 24. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 24 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Turning Complaints into Requests Complaint: A statement of displeasure, annoyance, pain, etc. that tends to produce defensiveness or confrontation in the other person. Request: A statement of a desired result that is specific, actionable, behavioral, observable and concrete.
  25. 25. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 25 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Behind every complaint, there is a request! Whenever you catch yourself making a complaint to another person, stop and ask yourself, “What is the request behind my complaint?” What is it that you would like to be different about the situation?
  26. 26. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 26 Examples of complaints and requests COMPLAINT REQUEST You are always late for meetings. I would appreciate it if you can be on time for meetings. I can’t trust you. I’ve heard a couple of times that you have spoken to others about me. My request is that you come to me first if you are upset about something. You’re driving too fast I would really appreciate it if you would slow down to 50 mph, because I am uncomfortable with how fast you are driving. You always copy everyone on all of your emails.
  27. 27. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 27 Eliminating Negativity in the Workplace Step 7. Be consistent and persistent. Part-time application does not develop new habits. Give feedback not meaningless praise and / or criticism on how their new habit is developing.
  28. 28. Spizzerinctum Group 262-993-4883 28 THANK YOU Thank YOU for allowing me the privilege of spending this time with you! It has certainly been my pleasure! Please do not hesitate to call me if I can ever be of assistance to you, your company, or any professional organizations to which you belong. I would be honored to talk to you. I am always willing to brainstorm, learn and share with others, as well as come to your work place / professional organization to present seminars / provide coaching! Spizzerinctum Group LLC Energy Enthusiasm Success Julie Kowalski 262-993-4883 Spizzerinctumgroup@gmail.com

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