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  • Changing your Negative Work Environment into a Positive

  • Michael Keane

    Whether you love your job or hate going to work every day can depend a lot on whether you work in a positive or a negative work environment.  Here are some tips on how to change a negative work environment into a positive one.

    1. What is your mindset? Don’t let the negative people bring you down. It’s very easy to get caught in that trap. Step 1 is to be aware of your thoughts and try to focus on the positive. Listen to your thoughts, are they positive or negative? If they’re negative, try to look at the situation from a different angle and make it a positive. This gets easier with practice. Also, just because everyone around you is unhappy doesn’t mean you have to be. This can be tough to do but it’s definitely worth it. If you can train yourself to be positive in these types of situations, you will be able to deal with almost any situation you come across.
    2. Are you part of the problem or the solution?  Negativity quickly spreads from one person to another. If you constantly complain to others about how bad it is, then you become a part of the problem because you’re adding fuel to an already depressing situation.
    3. Are you waiting for someone else to fix the situation?  It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your boss should take care of the situation. So, you wait for them to do something. They are after all the one in charge, right? Wrong. Dealing with personalities is one of the hardest jobs a manager has to deal with. A lot of managers don’t understand why people just can’t do their jobs and why there’s so much personal confrontation. They’re not trained to deal with emotions and they may not have a clue on how to handle it. They’re trained to deal with issues like productivity and the bottom line, not personality conflicts. If you can suggest solutions then you’re not only solving your own problems but you’re going to be viewed as a much more valuable employee. This also has the benefit of making you realize that you’re not a helpless victim. You have the power to make your own changes and you’re the one in control of how you view the situation and how you handle it.
    4. Step back, take a look at the view.  Take a step back and think about why the person may be behaving the way they do. There could be a lot of reasons. It could be anything from family issues to the fact that they feel they’re not living up to their potential and feel stuck in their current job. It could be something as simple as they feel like they’re being excluded by the group and they just need to be included in more conversations and coffee breaks. Most likely it doesn’t really have anything to do with you. That person may just be in a negative mental space and everything in their world is lousy.  If you can maintain a positive attitude it won’t affect you as much. You’ll know it’s a reflection of where the negative person is at, not you. They’re negative energy and they’re looking to attract more negative energy. If you’re positive, you’re on a different level. If you try to look at the big picture and think where the comments are coming from it makes it much easier.
    5. Quit fighting the symptoms, go for the cause.  Positive energy can spread just as quickly as negative energy. You just need to start the ball rolling.  The majority of people want to be positive but just don’t know how.  A good way to start is to come up with solutions to solve some of the problems you see occurring. It’s really important for you to try to find the root cause of the situation and not get caught up in fighting just the symptoms.

    You have much more power than you may think. Instead of feeling like it’s hopeless, view it as a challenge to actually make a real difference in your workplace. You’ll appreciate the results as will your co-workers. You definitely have the power to change a negative environment into a positive, fun place to be. You can do it.

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