A positive approach to stress at work

So you have to deal with a grouch and you don’t know what to do about them? Here’s some tips. TIMOTHY SHARP

Timothy Sharp Happiness Institute

By Timothy Sharp

Have you ever worked with someone who is constantly sniping at others? who is always focusing on what’s going wrong; who only seems to be able to see negativity everywhere; and who sucks the life out of you and all your colleagues? Isn’t it horrible? Don’t you sometimes just want to do something violent?

Well, the best cure for unhappiness is happiness!

So here are some quick tips, based on years of experience (with individuals, teams and businesses) and the latest research into positive organisations, for combating that grouch:

  • Just ignore negativity.
  • Focus as much as you can on rewarding positivity.
  • Play, joke and have fun.
  • Catch people when they’re doing things right.
  • Try to find a strength underlying the negativity and capitalise on this in any way possible.

There is a point at which other action needs to be taken. Excessive grumps should be taken aside and a conversation around how they fit into the culture should ensure. Then when they have taken those comments on board the positive initiatives will help the situation further.

If the person is not willing or able to change, other options need to be considered.

The reality is almost all teams and almost all workplaces (especially larger ones) will have pessimists and grouches. But the main point to remember is we can decide how we’re going to respond. 


Dr. Sharp’s latest book (published August 2008) is “100 Ways to Happiness: a Guide for Busy People” (Penguin). You can find out more about corporate programs, presentations, and coaching services at www.drhappy.com.au and www.thehappinessinstitute.com. You can also ask him questions using the Comments panel below.


For more Dr Happy blogs, click here.


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