How To Handle Negativity At The Workplace

Negativity at the workplace may have far-reaching effects ranging on productivity to employee retention and mental well-being of employees. At the end of the day, no one likes working in a toxic environment.

Dealing with negativity at the workplace can seem less daunting by adopting a strategic approach and the courage to take a stand against negative behaviour which includes ranting on social media.

Here are some useful tips to manage negative circumstances or even negative people at the workplace.

1. Lend a listening ear but set limits to avoid being consumed by negativity.

Sometimes, a friendly ear makes a huge difference. Simply listening to a colleague’s complaint rather than giving advice or assistance may be all that is expected of you. However, failing to set limits to such complaints by colleagues will not only sap your energy but affect your productivity and the work environment. If a colleague is perpetually complaining all the time about work, the office, management and their boss which goes beyond the limit, tell them you prefer not to be consumed by such negativity and prefer to maintain a positive outlook.

2. Stand up against negative behaviour at the workplace.

If you witness negative behaviour or exchange of words, don’t be silent. Speak up against the negativity and question why such behaviour is allowed to happen in the first place. Never assume that if such behaviour was allowed in the past that it justifies the wrongful conduct and things should not change. Have that difficult conversation and stand up for what you believe in and make a change for a better working environment.

3. Don’t indulge in negative conversations.

In the event you happen to be in a negative conversation, you have one of two choices to make –change the entire course of the conversation or intervene by making a positive comment. Although it can be tempting to be part of group and in the know of the latest office gossips, the more people participate in negativity, the more such negativity spreads and affects the entire work environment.

4. If the negative circumstances persists, seek assistance from your manager or HR department.

If the negative behaviour continues over a period of time without being addressed, consider discussing the matter with your immediate supervisor or HR department who may offer solutions on how to deal with such behaviour and even bring up the matter with the negative person’s manager.


If the reasons for such negativity are left unaddressed and continues to affect your productivity and well-being at the workplace or worse still affects your ability to be objective and conduct yourself professionally, it may be time to move on.