One of the biggest things I am asked is “How to deal with someone who is negative all the time”. Well, firstly you have to identify if they are a negaholic or not. A negaholic is someone who is addicted to being negative, a disease you could say. You can talk to them, you can ask them to change, but as soon as you put temptation in their path, i.e. other people around them, then you are asking for trouble. You need to “box them”. Take them away from other people. Give them a job or task where they have no influence.
Now here’s where I differ them from others. I personally don’t think most of these people can change, or really have the desire to change. So the reality is, what do we do with them long term? Well, you keep them boxed, and trust me, they will try to get out of the box, they will tell you they have improved, they will do things that you think show they have changed. However, they haven’t.
Have you ever been on a diet and stopped eating chocolate or something like that? What happens when you break your diet? Do you eat what you ate before, or do you gorge? Hmmm, I wonder. It is the same with the negaholic, they will gorge when you open the box, and they will be more discrete, clever about how they do it, more subtle…as you have given them the time to think about it!.
So, don’t open the box! Try to force them to leave your team or business, performance manage them if you can, but don’t open the boxxxxxxxxx !