Over the past few weeks, I was able to follow my other passion (the Edmonton Oil Kings) during a 6 game, 10 day road trip across the province of British Columbia.
We were a small group of 5 individuals, who had a common bond for the appreciation of our favorite junior hockey team. We got to know each other fairly well by spending almost every waking hour with each other. At times, we spent 8 hours together in a minivan traveling in between our games.
During the road trip, it became apparent that two participants (the Negatives) had decided to view everything as if the glass was half empty. Negativity was the meal of choice during the 10 day road trip.
Another member (Mr. Positive) of the road trip stated to me that is was very hard to deal with the negativity that the two people were constantly serving. During our conversation, Mr. Positive stated that he was just going to start ignoring them.
Upon hearing this, I gave Mr. Positive a few suggestions that have worked for me in the past when dealing with negative people.
Don’t Ignore, Listen: During the road trip, I noticed that the Negatives stated more than once that nobody listens to them. From what I noticed, they were conditioned to bring up negative things because it brought out a reaction from people, telling them that they are being listened to.
Actively Listen: At times, they don’t know what they are saying, and by repeating it to them, it makes them think about it even more.
Don’t Interrupt: Interruptions can be a cause for frustration which can lead to negatives thoughts. Allow the Negatives to finish off their thoughts and process what was being said. Maybe they just want someone to listen to them?
STAY!: Walking away from someone that is negative will only build resentment, shows the Negatives that you don’t value them, and helps to build barriers. Stay focussed on the Negative and their story.
Smile: I am sure that you know that it is not easy to be mad or frustrated when someone has a genuine smile. Smiling, if anything else, will help to improve your own mood while the Negatives are making their point.
Open communication, patience, and focus will give the attention that many Negatives are looking for. Many Negatives are looking for attention and breaking people down, for some, is the way to go.
Have an awesome week.
Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.