As a leader there are multiple challenges that one comes across everyday. A leader relies on his team members for accomplishing goals and reaching set targets. Team is made up of people who possess different skills, experiences, have diverse tastes, likes and dislikes. There are people who are friendly and positive and there are people who display a negative attitude. Negative attitude affects the team as a whole. A leader should be careful not to overlook such kind of behaviour. It can make the environment toxic and cause discomfort and dissatisfaction among Team members.
This is commonplace knowledge that not all employees invest the same amount of time and effort to meet the collective goals. While some workers are committed, sincere and aligned to the organizational ethics, there are others who are non-committal, stubborn and egoistic.
Thus, a diverse workforce with varying levels of loyalty and accountabiliy makes the job of a leader more complex and demanding. He often has to manoveur the mood swings and callous attitude of his employees.
So most leaders agree that ‘attitude’ and ‘behavioral issues’ are the two most important factors that adversely affect team management, team performance and efficiency of employees.
Now, what can a leader do to handle the Attitudinal issues of his employees?
So if a person cannot speak fluently, he can be offered a training in language fluency and public speaking. Similarly a person can be trained to write professional emails or draft project reports. But what to do with a person who has a rigid attitude? There is no customized module to rectify such problems. A leader has to be skilled and diplomatic to understand the real issues ailing such individuals.
If a person is not open to learning and evolving the training would prove futile for him. So if a team member is rigid and shows complete disregard for team and team targets , a leader can be in a fix as to which strategy he should employ to address negativity at work place.
It is not so simple as one might consider it to be. People with toxic attitude are not necessarily poor at work. They may be talented yet they have that negativity underlying their behaviour which become a hindrance when it comes to meeting goals and creating healthy relationships. Negativity may be manifested either in the form of non- cooperation, jealousy, complaining attitude, laid back attitude, arrogance or just any of those negative traits that a leader has to deal with almost everyday.
Identifying and acknowledging such personalities is necessary. Next is try to establish a connect with these individuals to know what actually is the root cause of their negative attitude. Is it salary issues, perks , incentives, lack of appreciation or is it a personal problem that is causing gaps in performance Once you become familiar with the issue, start managing such people through support and inclusion rather than seclusion and criticism.
Here are a few ways in which one can approach the issue:
1. Do not overstress, fret or fume over the issue: Stay calm. Being calm can relieve half the stress and give space to think with clarity
2. Undue attention or repetitive reprimand is not at all the way to handle stubbornness. Refrain from giving over- importance.
3. Allow personal space to work. Listen to them. Hear it out. Let them speak up for themselves. Next put across your message which should be firm but polite
4.Communicate to them about the expectations and responsibilities. Talk on a one on one basis. Give clear instructions. Show them the consequences of non- conformity to organizational ethics.
5. Appreciate: If there is noticeable change encourage the member to work in harmony with the team goals. Appreciate for what is done and motivate to do more. Keep the team members informed about their progress. Hold a tea party to discuss weekly team progress
6. If no change is observed despite repeated attempts, use polite ways to inform the person about non- performance. Issue a warning stating that further delay would lead to delegation of the responsibility to other members. Draw the line. Make it absolutely clear what is tolerable and what is beyond tolerance. Also, one could try changing roles, reshuffling tasks.
6. Take initiative to build a cheerful and lively work environment. Practice what you preach. A positive boss can go beyond personal conflicts to foster a positive attitude in the team. A positive attitude can help find a solution to a problem. Be a solution finder. Seek ways to enforce healthy habits and reduce toxicity.