Sadly, the elements of negativity are rarely leveraged to make things better for all. Gripers don’t want to be ostracized with the label of being a whiner. Complainers stay silent out of fear of correction, and frustrated folks quietly accept their current reality as the status quo. When negativity is negated by the leader, the result is obvious, a toxic culture where no one has value, a voice, or a reason to commit to something besides their own survival.
First, great leaders don’t view negativity as a negative. They embrace negativity as an opportunity for constructive feedback, and they leverage it as a powerful tool to make things better for everyone. They don’t run from it; they run to it.
- When a frustration is identified, leaders determine how that feeling can be used to simplify a process.
- When a complaint surfaces, leaders look for a lack of communication, or a better way to improve systems of communication.
- When griping emerges, leaders explore opportunities to simplify the work and give a clearer purpose behind the work.
- When overwhelmingness overcomes, leaders analyze the volume of work that followers are assigned and determine which tasks must continue, which tasks must be improved, and which tasks must be removed.
Negativity negatively impacts the organization when it decreases the value of the people in the organization. The solution to leveraging negativity is to bring it to light, to allow it to improve processes and systems, and to leverage it to make everyone more efficient and effective. When negativity is optimized, positive growth is unavoidable.