Tuesday, 6 October 2009

How to turn the negativity into positivity?

With my last post Winning Habit 2 - Kill the Negativity... I mentioned that it is very important that you Kill the negativity within you so that you succeed on your own... however its not just you who can spread negativity, its the whole world around that spreads it... And yes this can be 1 or more of your Team members... Remember if you are a Team Player , Leader , member or a Manager, for you to succeed it is important that your Team succeeds.... Now how do we tackle the negativity that may be present or gets created in your Team?

So here we go on the journey to explore.... Negativity needs to be managed by process of

1. Identify the negativity
2. Turn it into Positivity

1. Identify the Negativity
A major part of the negativity comes from the Pessimistic members of your Team.. These members are of 2 types...

1. Atomic Pessimists - They see the negative side of everything possible in the world. This is also a set of people who spreads the maximum negativity within the Team.

e.g. These type of people would spread negativity about everything possible.. from work to role to salary to managers to collegues to team members to tools to products... They would only see the negative side of everything that they have to deal with for a reason or not.

2. Objectized Pessimists : These are negative turners who are pessimists because they do not agree with certain informed logic and then they take a path of spreading negativity.

e.g. Someone doesnt agree to why a code is written in certain way, he would spread negativity about it to others upon every bug raised or every issue raised if his concern is not handled. Its very likely that Objectized pessimists can turn into Atomic pessimists in long run.

Finding negativity is easier... Atomic negativity spread by Atomic pessimists can be easily found as they would talk about it everywhere and every now and then. To identify Objectized negativity try having a group discussion and you would find the objectized pessimists raising their view...

2. Fixing this Negativity...

1. Make them Aware :
It is important that the pessimists are told about reality every now and then. The reason to have Atomic pessimists in your team can be due to them not being in a certain position by promotion or needs special mention or attention or needs to cover for what he / she is not aware of and wants to divert people so that they dont figure it out. A simple way to kill the negativity is to make the team member aware on how important they are, why they are important, and also explaining them on how it will affect them , the project and the Team if they continue to spread this negativity.

2. Negativity cant go AIR
Its important that comments promoted via negativity are not let go off without addressing. So when you hear a statement coming from a pessimist saying "This is not going to work...".... "We will see" is not an answer... instead it will need to be addressed. Its also important that it is addressed right in front of the whole Team. Air'ed negativity takes vulgar shape and can cause a lot of damage to team Morale and Momentum. Now Imagine what happens when you hear "This is always like this"

3. A pessimist can create atomic negativity a Team can kill it before birth
If the pessimistic items are discussed right in the Team group, a lot of times the peer pressure would kill it. 2 people standing at equal levels would be hesitant to spread negativity always being under a pressure that the counter part can tackle this. Bringing the Team together on such things are of real help.

4. The word is "GO ON"
If the pessimism is not letting you grow, The Team member spreading it is no more healthy and helpful. It is important at such times to identify the personal and behavioural aspects and get rid of such member as it may destruct a lot.

5. Invite Pessimism, Never let it grow into negativity
Invite Objectized pessimism, because if your decissions , your executions dont get pessimistic views also means that you may fall bad. Let people throw their views that are pessimistic, work over them in a positive hire and try to improvise on what you do. Also remember that there is always a guy in the Team who would say "I told you so".

My experience....

A year and a half ago when I was involved in the strategic product development in an outsourcing firm, The Team chose a framework to develop the Software. At one point there was a question within a few minds if the framework was appropriate... this pessimism was not handled very well and later it resulted into aggressive negativity.... The issue turned so negative around the framework.. that people started blaming the framework for reasons that the framework was not linked to... in other words Any thing goes wrong is because we chose Blah Blah frame work ... Result 1.5 yrs of development and the product was scrapped.

So lets take the negativity to work Positive for us!!!!!!