Buzz Kill

Those little issues that derail focus

There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.  – William Shakespeare.

How much time are you wasting on petty gripes? These beefs can have an extraordinarily negative impact on you and your team. Cell phones, social media, email, and chitchat can be big distractions in the workplace, but interpersonal molehills that turn into mountains and get spread between colleagues and leaders can just kill positive mojo.

Nothing drives me more bonkers than when an entire team is pulled off task for something that could have been handled in a single direct one-on-one interaction. And the time. The time taken from work for teammates, managers, supervisors, and leaders to deal with these issues simply isn’t warranted. We’ve all been guilty of it: we woke up on the “wrong side of the bed” and all day we’re grumpy, we are set off by the silliest of issues, and we share the attitude… Yup, misery loves company.

It can be hard to deal with covert troublemakers in the workplace because they can be passive aggressive in their approach. If you’re working with someone who is quietly critical, don’t let them taint your views. Respond to any “heat” with positivity and recommend they take the appropriate steps for your organization. Often that is speaking with their direct supervisor. To maintain positive team morale, it’s so important to address the issues professionally and quickly. It doesn’t do anyone any good to be distracted by small stuff or issues one needs to deal with (and others don’t!).

That’s why it’s so important for everyone to work on attitude. Some days as I drive to work I repeat the mantra that I learned from Brian Tracey 25 years ago … today is going to be a great day and something nice is going to happen to me! I heard Tony Robbins say he will yell in the car about how great he is going to be that day. When you choose to be rude, snub a coworker, continue complaining to people who cannot institute change, then you are choosing to be negative.

In Phil McGraw’s Life Strategies, there are a few good lessons on what works and what matters.

1. There is no reality; only perception. I’ve always said you can’t control what happens to you, but you can choose how you react. Let it go and be positive if possible, talk to someONE (not 5) if you need help, and don’t drag the whole team into it.

2. Own, rather than complain about, how other people treat you. It may be hard to accept that you are even partly responsible, but you can’t blame or be the victim. Take responsibility and commit to working on yourself.

3. There is power in forgiveness. Anger and resentment only hurt you.

Let’s face it, we can’t control everything and we’re not always going to agree. But that doesn’t have to derail our progress and the fun that everyone can have at work. It’s exciting to root for colleagues who work hard and have success; their success will usually breed more success for you. Ask yourself why you have negative feelings and why it really matters. Avoid drama and focus on what you can do to help your company grow, your colleagues prosper, and how you can bring more positivity to your workplace.

Tony Hseih says, “No matter how much better we get, we’ll always have hard work to do, we’ll never be done, and we’ll never get it right.” And on and on again … it’s the cycle of growth. When we spend so much time together, it’s easy to understand why we sometimes bug each other like siblings … but the fact is no one’s perfect, not even you.  Be a “buzzgain” and start spreading some positive mojo!

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