One cranky person can bring an entire team down. A team's energy can spiral south and eventually stall progress. I see this all the time.
The way most leaders deal with this diminishing morale is they don’t. They ignore the difficult person and inwardly wrestle with the problem. They think ignoring the problem will make it go away. It won’t.
If a team member is difficult and your team focuses on this as a problem. It will stall your team. You can’t move forward focused on conflict. Your whole team is stifled and held back by negativity. It’s infectious, and it taints your morale.
A leader's primary job is to inspire in a team positive momentum and direction. You need to steadily lift people’s morale despite the negative person or circumstance. Right now, the point of attraction on your team could be negative. You have to turn this around because it's stalling progress. You cannot move forward when negativity and doubt hold your team back.
Look at it as an opportunity. What do you want? Likely you want your team to come together in harmony instead of falling apart when someone creates drama. You want people to work well together. You want them to bring their passion to the job and work in harmony together.
Create new interactions based on this perspective. Include the difficult perspective instead of fighting them.
What are they really trying to say? Where is the opportunity? Female Keynote Speaker
IT STARTS WITH YOUR POINT OF ATTRACTION
You need to release your negative energy towards anyone or anything that is bringing your team down. It’s a holding point and its pointing people in the wrong direction. Usually, the leader is primarily holding the energy of the team. If you're not, you should be. Give this negative momentum in a positive direction.
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Brian Tracy talks about it as the Law of Attraction
As a leader, It all starts with your feelings towards your team, even the difficult people.
It will help you to massage your thoughts out of negative territory as they are limiting your perspective and options. Look for positive aspects of the conflict. Start small.
For instance, this difficult person has a lot of power. He uses his rants to get what he wants. It works. See his value. He’s productive. People listen to him. His conflict makes people stay away from him, so he has fewer distractions.
As a leader, you need to change the way you feel about this person. Feel more positive about him. I know this is challenging, and you may fear you are welcoming more negativity into your workplace. You're not. Instead, you are lifting negative emotion and energy and redirecting it positively. Fear, anger or any negative emotion will never move you or a team forward. Ever. Until you lift this, you will keep tripping over this guy's conflict.
Find relief from your anger. Reach for a positive thought that feels better than anger. Reach for a thought that offers you relief. For instance, It must be hard for him to always rely on difficult emotions to get what he wants. He’s just doing the best he can. He’s a loyal employee; he always gets the job done. People do seem to appreciate his work.
Reach for any thoughts, and emotion that provide relief from the negative momentum you have towards him. Until you change your thoughts and energy about this person, you are stalled. You are not moving forward. It's also tripping up your team.
Your thoughts are designed to limit this relationship. Your negative thoughts are protecting you and your team from this person. You are building a wall between yourself, your team and this difficult person. You are doing this through your negative energy.
Also, know that anytime you have a negative thought-feeling pattern, you bring yourself down. You limit yourself. One bad interaction can make for a bad day.
Your team can’t come together when your energy is so far apart.
If you are a leader, you need to see the dynamics of the team differently. Right now, negative thoughts are limiting your perspective. Negative thoughts won't bring you positive solutions, so you need to elevate your thoughts and emotions actively. Only positive thought will unfold into helpful solutions. Only positive thoughts can lift your morale.
In other words, you need to start with yourself, move your energy out of negative territory surrounding this difficult person. You have to reframe your predominant thoughts to see this argumentative person more positively.
START WITH YOUR PURPOSE & TEAMWORK
It will help if you can find thoughts that inspire you about your team. Think about your overall purpose. Imagine a really great day at work. Think about everyone getting along and working well. Conjure up pictures in your mind of happy interaction and happy customers. These images don’t even have to be true; they just have to feel good. This mental activity is potent, trust it.
Once you get enough of an uplifting thought and emotions going inside you -start to create. Negative thoughts are stalling you, to move forward, you need positive thoughts and emotions to create. You need to see this workplace and this cranky person differently.
Create. Ultimately you need to see something that doesn’t exist right now. You likely want to see a team that comes together even in conflict. It would help if you saw this difficult person moulding with the group. Instead of standing out in conflict, he comes together through purpose. Focus on his good qualities, look for potential. You will not see his possibilities as long as you focus on his shortcomings.
Understand that his own conflict is tripping him up. His rants get him what he wants in the short term, but it mostly holds him back. It's regularly making him feel bad. His negativity holds others back too. It’s hard to understand right now, but you have to see in him what he can’t see in himself. That’s his positive potential.
HOW TO INSPIRE A DIFFICULT PERSON
Slowly guide his thoughts in a more positive direction. Remind him how he influenced others, show him the value of his work. Guide him to see the impact he makes positively. In any way that he sees progress in his work, show him this was his own positive momentum.
The areas in his job where he shows progress are areas where he doesn’t have negative resistance. These are likely areas where he “ does the job”. It’s easy to conquer goals because his negative thoughts and behaviours don't get in the way. Highlight the positive momentum. If you can, encourage him to take himself lightly in conflict. Any positive emotion, including humour, will help.
Don’t focus too much on changing this difficult person. Don’t see him as a problem because that is the problem. When you see him as a problem, so does your whole team. The difficult person knows he’s a point of contention and he likes it. He’s getting what he wants.
Focus less on him and more on you. Focus on your positive thoughts about your team. Focus on releasing negativity around this contradicting personality. Focus on positive team dynamics.
Nothing brings out the best in another than your focus on it.
Nothing brings out the worst in others than your focus on it.
It's your focus and point of attraction that matters.
Please don't become attached to this difficult person changing. He may not. Attaching your contentment to any circumstance or person will always make you feel bad. Happiness is inside you; you have full control.
Even if the difficult person doesn’t change, your energy and thoughts around him will. Your primary job is to rework your thoughts until you feel better about this person by fixating on things going well. This is not denial; it’s acceptance. You are providing comfort to harmful emotions that are holding you back. Because you are a leader, it's holding your team back.
When your point of attraction is positive, you will not bump up against his conflict. When you fly high in your thoughts and emotions, the conflict will look different to you. It will either not impact you at all, or it will neutrally present itself. It will be revealed like information that you can use to reimagine relationships at work. You won’t get tied up in regret or worry.
Eventually, regardless of how he acts, you will be unaffected by his negativity. If he no longer gets what he wants through is negative rants, he will stop doing it. It no longer works. When you don’t get tied up in anger over his difficult antics, he will see that. The energy changed and he’s no longer firing you up with his anger. You stopped reinforcing his negativity, and now he has no leverage.
When he sees his anger doesn’t bother you, it will naturally subside, or he may move on to another job.
In the meantime, you have been moving forward. You have imagined big things for your whole team, and together you are all moving forward.
You chose to lead this team, now claim this role.