3 Subtle Ways Work Culture Turns Negative

10806512 - fist punching through paper isolated on white backgroundTrigger events such as the U.S. election season give many of us permission to express our anger. Sometimes, that anger spills over into the workplace and permanently damages our work culture.

As a leader, how do we respond to these bursts of anger? Do we ignore these behaviors, and hope they’re just temporary? Is political upheaval truly the cause of this wave of anger, or an excuse?

The answer isn’t obvious. However, if we choose to ignore these behaviors, it’s just a matter of time until it decimates an otherwise productive and healthy workplace.

This slow trickle of negativity appears in different forms. For example, it might perpetuate indecision for important initiatives. In other instances, it provides fodder for online trolls. Last month, for example, a woman whom I’ve never met voluntarily completed our annual CMO survey. In the “comments” sections, she wrote a string of negative, sarcastic comments.

Effective leaders show zero tolerance for these nefarious behaviors. This is not a matter of asking HR to update the procedures manual. Zero tolerance begins with how we carry ourselves and addressing the behaviors as soon as they surface. In my latest HuffingtonPost, I provide 3 places most leaders might forget to look. They include:

  • Combative language
  • Energy draining habits
  • Responding with revenge

Here is the link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-nirell/when-anger-strikes-3-subt_b_11472510.html

During World War II, Gandhi said: “We must look the world in the face with calm and clear eyes even though the eyes of the world are bloodshot today.” We certainly cannot stop the message maelstrom and micro-manage our work culture. But we can manage how we comport ourselves.

For more tips, visit my HuffingtonPost blog

Other posts you will enjoy:

White Only? How Meetings Promote Divisiveness and Poor Decision Making – The Huffington Post

Customer Community Is the New Marketing: Are You Ready? – The Huffington Post

5 Rules For Winning Over The C-Suite – FastCompany

Copyright 2016, Lisa Nirell.  All rights reserved.

Comments open: True
Okay

Related Posts

This is the second article of a two-part series. To read Part One, click here.

These trends will force us to communicate with external service providers in new ways. Here are my recommendations:…

Stop issuing RFPs to outside firms for your strategic initiatives. RFPs are sales prevention tactics to keep administrative people busy and dehumanize marketing. They may be great for buying coffee service, but not for building your digital presence. Are you going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions of dollars with an agency based on price?

Read More

As we witness some seismic shifts in the current marketing and agency landscape, I’m concerned about how CMOs are fostering commoditization. 

The Wall Street Journal recently published a special insert which analyzed digital advertising trends. They also shared key findings from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The articles punctuated the tenuous relationship between CMOs and outside services firms. Here are four observations worth considering: …

The field is crowded. Big consulting firms now occupy traditional agency turf.

Read More