The handling of negative behavior is most important in any circumstance. Some members of your team may exhibit negative behavior from time to time. You may encounter this problem when someone lacks interest in your work, or when they refuse to work with you or other members of the team.
An employee who complains unreasonably about their work, grumbles when they are asked to perform a perfectly reasonable task, snoozes objectively when they are asked to perform extra tasks (or even refuses to do them) – ‘it’s not in my job description’, or is insolent. In contrast to openly disruptive behavior, people who exhibit negative behavior may be quietly resentful.
Meetings are filled with muttering and a lack of enthusiasm. It is OK to tolerate some negative behavior from a team member as long as he or she works reasonably well. However, he or she should not upset other members of the team. Just say to yourself, ‘It takes all sorts…’ and keep working, even if you say to yourself during a review meeting, ‘You’re doing a great job, but.’ It is imperative that you are specific if you do take this line.
References must be based on real-life examples. You should avoid making general accusations that the receiver will either openly refute or internalize, thus increasing their resentment. It is necessary to take action if the negative behavior indicates that the individual’s contribution is not acceptable and disruptive.
People who are negative can be quiet, but they are usually angry about something; they express their anger through their negative behavior. Finding out what makes the person angry is crucial to resolving the problem.
Negative behaviors and their causes
Negative behavior can be caused by many factors, including the following.
You or a colleague have been wronged in real or imagined ways.
Being put upon; not being appreciated or rewarded properly for the contributions made by the person.
A feeling of resentment over unfair criticism.
Anger directed at the company or you over a reasonable request being turned down, e.g. leaving the company, being transferred, or being unfairly accused.