Being a leader, you must have met people who just never seem to be without any problem. You’d have seen people who love talking about their troubles, their struggles – sometimes leaving no chance to tell you how their whole life is a struggle.
And somehow, over a period of time, years even, their troubles never seem to go away – never even change! The problems just take a new shape, but they essentially remain the same. You on the other hand always seem to be tired, more negative towards life; you feel more dejected after talking to these people.
Why is that?
Because these people are toxic. They defy common sense. Only these people can turn a pity party into your permanent address! Being a leader and a star leader means to be able to stop it before it affects your work, your performance, and your general outlook on life itself.
So here take a look at 3 ways how a star leader would tackle negativity at the workplace:
1.They’d Know How to Say ‘No’
Someone once said that friends in need are friends indeed. But little must they have known how this statement could be exploited! Lending an ear to your friend when they’re going through a bad phase is all right. It’s all right for some time. What’s bad is them wallowing, without trying to actually do something about it. All they want is for you to listen to their problems. Just listen. And as much as they’d say otherwise, they’re not looking to find a solution to whatever bothers them. For you, the pressure to be the better person is so high, that you forget that you’re just being asked by them to be their crutch, when they can easily walk again – only if they would try.
A star leader understands that only those can be helped who first are ready to help themselves. So, you should be strong enough to say no when necessary. You should be able to distance yourself from people who are always in a state of negative inertia; who, just as Newton said in his first law, are sitting in a place waiting for someone else to forcefully push them out of their state.
Executive Presence, hence, is about knowing when you’re being a part of the solution, and when are you just being sucked into a negative spiral made out of the problem.
- They’re Emotionally Aware
To be able to lead others, you would first have to lead yourself. That’s how you become a great leader. What makes a great leader into a star, is how they master the skills of emotional detachment.
As much as you might think that it’s your thoughts that lead you, it’s actually your feelings, your emotions. When you hear your colleague go through a bad divorce, when your neighbor tells you how their boss doesn’t treat them right – you feel concerned for them. You look for ways to give them emotional support because that’s all you can do. Being negative, they won’t take any ideas for solutions from you. “You don’t understand!”, “I already know this won’t work!” – are some of the most common responses.
So, learn to detach yourself emotionally from a situation, a person, that’s negative. How do you do it? By being aware of your own feelings. The moment you feel like you’re being drained off your energy – a problem that was 4 on a scale of 10, somehow escalated to an 8 within no time – you should know it’s time you bid your goodbye.
3.They Wouldn’t Make the Same Mistake Twice
It’s a great thing if you’re able to forgive people – not just a great thing, but really essential to lead a happy grudge-free life. And even better if you forget about it. But never forget the lesson!
A star leader knows that your past struggle to get out of the hands of a too-emotional-for-their-own-good friend, or a difficult situation would all go in vain – if they go back making the same mistake. So, don’t make yourself a part of someone else’s second and third mistakes – or you’d be repeating your last mistake.
You have to know that you’re in control – not them. And you need to harness this control of yours to be assertive in the face of toxic people. Because emotional intelligence is the first step towards raising your executive presence.#BeTheStar
Comments: According to you, what are some other behaviors that help leaders handle negative people at the workplace? Share your thoughts. I love learning from my readers. And please share this science of influence and people skills.