I am often asked how to deal with negative interruptions in the working day.
You know how it goes, you get to work and things are going along just nicely.
You have batched your time and you are feeling good about getting to the projects you have set out for the day.
Somebody decides to share a whole bunch of negativity with you and it throws you completely off balance.
More often than not the person that came and dumped their negative rubbish on you then walks away feeling much better.
Why wouldn’t they?
They have effectively moved the monkey off their back onto yours
There are a couple of ways to deal with this.
The most effective is to not let negative people around you.
I had a client once who was a smoker and when the Workplace Inspector asked him where the dedicated smoking area was in his business he replied “within a one metre radius of wherever I am”.
That’s not right of course but we can learn a bit from the concept.
Imagine if you had a one metre no negativity radius around you?
There are also some people who we know are just going to bring negativity.
They thrive on it, love it and can’t speak without showing it.
They are the very people you want to avoid at all cost
The reality is however that in business, particularly in a service industry we sometimes can’t avoid them and we sometimes can’t install that no negativity zone around us.
Here are five tips to deal with the negativity monkey in those cases:
- Share it – call a friend or mentor and share the situation. Sometimes simply sharing the negative thought out loud will reduce its impact on you.
- Call it out – it may sound a little weird but sometimes having a conversation with yourself can really help.
Remember it is the negative self talk which is impacting on you so talk back to it with something like “ thanks but I am not letting that get in my way today” and move on!
- Brood! I often talk about having an egg timer on my desk to time my tasks. Use the “force for good” here. Allow yourself a set time to be frustrated and negative with those thoughts. Once the time is up, let it go!
- Get out. Get away from your desk, office, workplace. Take a walk around the block. A few minutes of changed environment can do wonders.
- Anchor a positivity. Here is a trick I learned in NLP. When you are having a win, a positive experience, do something which is a physical action to associate with the positive experience.
You may touch your wrist., pull your earlobe, slap your desk, whatever it is, just do it a few times.
Then when the negative monkey appears, try doing that physical act to see if it takes your mind back to the positive state.
Following these simple tricks should help get the negative thoughts out and allow the positive ones back in.
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