Staff who focus on problems

If you have people under you who do not touch on the positive things that go on, but dwell on the little things that goes wrong, please, how would
you handle it?


There are many reasons why people behave like this. Sometimes it is just a habit, or a personality trait, and you may be able to cajole them out of it. Other people just seem to enjoy being unhappy and looking on the dark side of things!!

Or it may be that they have home and family problems and find it difficult to reflect on the good things in life.

Perhaps they are suffering from general depression, and need some medical intervention.

But it can be a sign that they are stressed and unhappy in their work, this makes them focus on the things that are going wrong, and blinds them to all the great things that happen around them.

We have talked about this in this series

Workplace Stress

This is very much a judgement call for you. I think I would begin by gently commenting and light heartedly teasing them, like this.

“Oh, trust you to look at the problems, let’s think about all the great things that have happened this week “

Then you will have to follow your gut, depending on their reaction. Try to cajole them to be happier, or at least get them to talk about how they are feeling. You may need to discuss this in private, of course. But if you are aware of what the causes might be, and are sympathetic and willing to listen to their problems or issues, you may be able to find a solution and help them in the process.