Negativity in the office can be a real business killer. I've seen good people and great teams erode rapidly because a single poisonous thought permeates the team. This crops up more commonly in today's market, where volatility and constant change can often be the only things that are standard and can shake any business.
Regardless of whether business is slow or crazy busy, you need to implement measures that will generate enthusiasm and positivity among your team members to ensure they stay upbeat and positive about their jobs.
Remember the golden rule: the way your team treats each other is the way they will treat your clients, partners and vendors. Here are five ways to get started:
1. Stop complaining! On a day-to-day basis, there are a million reasons to complain, and if you're taking advantage of those, you need to stop. Take a step back, reorient and ask yourself, "What can I do differently in these situations? How can I improve my performance? How can I change?" Take control of the situation instead of complaining about the issues over which you don't have any.
2. Don't allow negativity about customers to be broadcasted internally among your team. I once had a boss who imposed a strict rule. If you were caught once speaking negatively about a customer you were warned. Caught twice you were written up. If you were caught three times…you were fired! While it may seem harsh, my former boss understood that success is achieved by providing a positive customer experience. This philosophy boosted our office's customer satisfaction scores from mediocre to number one within a single quarter.
3. Focus on yourself and your value over the competition. Too many employees focus on "what the other guys are doing" and get wrapped up in how that affects them. You have no control over what your competition is doing, so stop worrying about it. Instead, make the experience of doing business with you unique.
4. Mentor and coach the team. Make your team members feel valued by taking one-on-one time with them that's devoted to improving their skills. This mentoring and coaching can also help you pick up on any negativity that's permeating the team and identify its source.
5. Share every win. During team meetings and through e-mails, texts, or even your company website, discuss and broadcast your team's wins! These could be external wins (bringing on a new customer) or internal wins (completing a big project or winning a business award). Share each success with the entire team, so each member of your team knows that success is possible and worth chasing after. There are few greater motivators than positive reinforcement and acknowledging your team's successes.
Negativity not only drives away customers, but good team members as well. The end result of continued and unchecked negativity can be catastrophic for your business! It's therefore vital to realize that eliminating negativity from your team starts at the top with you! It's only after you become passionate about your products, services, customers and company, can you expect your team to follow suit.
Colleen Francis, sales expert, is founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen ensures clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.