I want to tell you a story about a lady I managed when I first became middle manager. She was about 20 years older than me and wasn’t happy that she didn’t get the promotion and I did. There were a lot of changes I had to communicate to the team, and her negative approach to actioning these changes came out in team meetings and one-to-one when I was strategizing the way we would implement these changes. This was very difficult for me, a new middle manager, as she would question everything and complain about the ‘little things’.
Does this ring a bell? We all have awkward people we have to work this at some time. They may be awkward all the time, or they may be awkward for particular situations. I learnt to strategise how to communicate certain information, making sure I explained why certain decisions were made. I also learnt to question the senior managers when they were telling us the changes, so I was ready for any negativity from my team.
I also learnt to be objective when dealing with this certain lady. She got very emotional, meaning that I reflected this emotion. I told myself not to take it personally and remember that this is work and we need to get a job done.
Dealing with negative people can be very tricky. There is no ‘black and white’ solution of what to say and how to say it. Do you lead a team and find it difficult to work with some people? Give me a call and I will work with you to plan how I can help. It may be a keynote or a workshop.