There is many a good project manager who has been defeated by the project naysayer. Good ideas that have been dashed by the project pessimist who talks the idea into the ground.
It used to surprise me how many dismissals a doomster can come up with to counteract the flow of ideas generated in a meeting. Negative reproaches from one or more team members can have such a devastating impact on the team and the project.
What do I mean by negative reproach?
One would class it as a verbalised form of negative thinking. Such disproof is purely negative in nature. It does not provide any constructive element, it is purely destructive criticism.
Negative thinking is an agonising problem. Left unchecked it can play havoc especially when you need your team to pull together to meet challenges.
How do you recognise negative thinking?
Typically you can pick this up from the nature of questions or statements made. Their characteristics include:
- a complaining tone
- a judgmental tone
- emphasis on blame
- deflecting fault
- expression of fear or frustration
- action that is negative or detrimental
- answer that is non-productive
These negative questions and statements are counterproductive, perpetuate pessimism, fail to solve issues and block an organisation’s ability to execute. I’m not talking about constructive criticism or identifying constraints and potential obstacles that must be overcome, these are both constructive.
If you are facing these challenges, what should you do? I will publish some guidance on how to overcome negativity tomorrow.
Whether delivering a project or building a new team negative behaviour is destructive and does need to be dealt with directly. I’ve faced such problems and wrote about the tactics I used in 5 Tips for Handling Negative Behaviour.
I look forward to your next instalment.