6 Ways to Deal with a Negative Co-worker/Boss

Thanks to the next generation of workers, the toxic work environments that many of us tolerated for too long are no longer. Being “the boss” is synonymous with being a bully, and the office jerk is not allowed to roam freely, reeking terror. With a focus on leadership and mental health, it’s your company’s responsibility to ensure your work environment is SAFE! That means saying bye to all the Karen and Kevin behaviour, freeing your workplace from being a cesspool of bad vibrations.

Saying goodbye to the emotional vampires who strike at anyone with a pulse, blasting them with a steady flow of criticisms and complaints means you are committed to exorcising these demons of pessimism. Know that it takes bravery.

Here are some strategies to employ to make your work environment a positive stream of good vibrations.

Recognize the culprit. This is very important because you do not want to mutate into a member of the Inquisition out on a rabid witch hunt. Knowing who is emitting the negative energy in the office will help you deal with the concerned person better. Be on guard if other employees' performances have been affected and their morale is already below sea level.

Contact your HR representative for advice. We have a workplace rule in my circle – Whoever goes to HR first wins. Negative people often twist the narrative to make themselves the victim. Before you take any action, make sure you have documented this person's behaviour and have specific examples. Get advice from Human Resources and have your concerns put on record, especially if you have a “boss” situation. In all likeliness, they will suggest you speak with the person in question regarding their behaviour first - note HR is not your friend they are there to protect the company's best interest, so approach with this in mind.

Establish the cause of the negative attitude. You do not have to be an internationally renowned psychic to know the other person's source of negativity. But you do need to approach the situation with a plan. A series of tactful questions or heart-to-heart communication will suffice. Make sure you take the emotions out of the conversation, explain how their behaviour makes you feel, and give them specific examples. Empathize with the other person to find the root of their bad feelings.

This can go one of two ways – let them choose. After you figure out where the anger is coming from, help them take charge of their actions. If they feel that they have the right to express themselves in a certain way that contradicts the company's vision, you can point out that their behaviour is inappropriate for the workplace and, if possible, explain the rationale behind it. Most of the time, these people only need a thorough explanation to reform. Calling them out may be the wake-up call they need. Maybe they’ll go into an introspective mode and realize that, indeed, their actions are out of bounds.

Be brave. It is often said that bad habits are harder to ditch than absorbing positive ones. To some, it may seem insurmountable that they prefer to stick with their old shells and refuse to turn over a new leaf. Theirs is the coward's way out.

You know you are not a coward, and you can implement reforms needed in your life. If your opponent is unable to change their bad habits, then that’s when your leader or HR needs to step in. Feel empowered to go the distance with your concerns you have a legal right to work in a safe working environment. If you have encouraged them to replace their bad attitude with a more acceptable one and they choose violence, then you need to choose your inner peace.

Be an exemplary model. Nothing beats negativity than exuding positive vibrations. Your officemates will realize that the optimists are winners through your action and behaviour while the pessimists are losers.

We spend most of our life at work, and for that reason, it can have the biggest effect on our overall health. So, if hotdog manufactures can fight for an equal amount of buns to be sold with their product, you can fight to be treated with respect and dignity at work!

Just some food for thought 😉

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