All In A Day's Work

Managing Workplace Negativity

Managing Workplace Negativity "Don't pay any attention to him-he's just a grouch." How many times have you said those words or something similar, usually accompanied by the appropriate eye-rolling and perhaps a rueful shrug? Even once could be too often, says management consultant Gary S. Topchik, who feels workplace negativity is a destructive but correctable problem.

Unfortunately, Topchik offers no evidence to support his claim that millions of dollars are lost annually to pessimism and complaining. What he does offer are so many anecdotes and hypothetical case studies that it's not hard to make that stretch.

Of special interest are his thumbnail portraits of 14 types of negative person-alities, from nit-picky "Micros" to the steam-rolling "Locomotives." If you can't recognize at least one of these 14 in your current work force, then congratulate yourself-and don't ever let your employees leave. If, however, you have plenty of negativists, Topchik offers you the tools to stop their negativity and prevent its recurrence.

Managing Workplace Negativity (Amacom) is available at

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This article was originally published in the January 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: All In A Day's Work.

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