What Constant Naysayers Really Do | #PeopleSkills #ProfessionalDevelopment

How do you feel when you must work with constant naysayers? What impact do they have on you? There are people who go toward negativity for several reasons. It can be a very powerful draw for them. Yet many others find it very difficult to work with constant naysayers. Here’s how the constant negativity affects them.

Constant Naysayers: Image is a giant red X symbolizing blockage.

What Constant Naysayers Really Do to Others. Image licensed from 123RF.com

Image licensed via 123RF.com

The True Impact of Constant Naysayers

My focus in this article is on constant negativity at work. I am not referring to healthy skepticism which helps everyone think through ideas before taking action. Moreover, I am not writing about people being angry sometimes. Admittedly, humans have different emotions even at work. Yet, positive employees can move beyond the anger to focus on fixing trouble.

On the other hand, constant naysayers live and revel in negativity. And here is what they do to others …

Their constant naysaying at work …

  1. Makes others feel stuck

  2. Limits the vision of what is possible

  3. Divides people into the positive group and the negative group

  4. Brings down the team zeal and spirit

  5. Tires others out — like pushing a truck up a hill without a motor

  6. Creates frustration and the desire to silence the constant naysayers … “Will you shut up!”

  7. Makes people avoid them

  8. Turns meetings into dread zones

  9. Triggers many unproductive reactions

  10. Reduces and even crushes morale if you leave it unchecked.

Leaders, address constant naysayers and the impact they have on others. Show them the difference between healthy skepticism and constant naysaying. Sidestepping and ignoring this toxic behavior will destroy your organization’s success. Remember, a positive can-do employee attitude is essential not negotiable. And the same is true of your leadership!

How do you feel around constant naysayers?

What challenges & successes have you had in addressing constant negativity?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2019 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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6 Responses to “What Constant Naysayers Really Do | #PeopleSkills #ProfessionalDevelopment”

  1. Hi Kate,
    Many years ago I separated myself from those who seem to only be happy when they are miserable. Don’t understand that mindset.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Steve,
      It is truly a challenge to be around constant naysayers. And at work, the challenge is compounded by not being able to just walk away from them. It can bring down morale as people feel trapped.

      I did write another post on where the constant negativity comes from and I think it sheds light on a path for leaders to help coach the naysayers. If they turn around, great. If not, then it is possibly time to say goodbye.

      Thanks for adding your experience to this discussion.

  2. Alli Polin says:

    With you, Kate. I’ve also noticed that the constant naysayers take the eye off of the mission. Instead of focusing on what needs to happen, challenges and opportunities, the team begins to focus on what the naysayers will say and do next. Unfortunately, either leaders get a handle on constant negativity and transform it or people will leave – and usually, it’s not the people you wish would leave.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Great point Alli — they do start “managing” the naysayers instead of putting full focus on the mission. Such a waste of great resources. Address what isn’t working so everyone can make everything else work!

      Thanks for weighing in on this topic. Always happy to see your insights.

  3. Terri Klass says:

    Such an important topic Kate. I have found that approaching naysayers is an important first step as it allows them to share their concerns. Then I stay specific and try to get them to offer alternative ideas rather than just complaining. Usually the naysayers feel unheard and just want to be more a part of the team.

    Thanks Kate!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Terri,
      When they do feel unheard, it is a great opportunity to both hear them and educate them about their constant negativity and the impact on the org. This way we don’t reinforce their negativity pattern and all can move forward.

      Thanks for your contribution here … always grateful for your insights.

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