From early on in life, people are taught that it's always better to be kind to others – on the playground, in the classroom and at many other places in life. This practice should continue and follow people into the workplace. However, for whatever reason, some people lose their positivity and kindness for myriad reasons, and that negative attitude comes out in the workplace. But, just as was asserted in grade school, a bad attitude won't get a person very far, and this remains true for professionals in a business setting. Positive thoughts and actions are very important in the workplace and all levels of employees should strive to build healthy relationships.
Positivity is the best policy
In a new study published by the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers asserted that negative comments in the workplace can actually have an adverse affect on the brain, reported Shape. These statements, whether said in whispers in the break room or in confidence to a manager, can cause mental fatigue and defensiveness in the person who made the comments, the study found.
Should criticism need to be administered in some regard, Michigan State University professor Russell Johnson suggested that pairing it with a constructive comment will not have as many adverse affects, and will also lead to less tension in the office, the source noted. Being able to identify positive things to say in the midst of a possibly negative situation can be difficult for some whose emotional intelligence is in need of some bolstering. The Emotional Quotient, or EQ, of individuals plays a big part in healthy workplace relationships and should be tended to with care to achieve the best results.
Productivity as a result
Not only does it feel good to be positive toward others, but it actually does good for the office as a whole. The Harvard Business Review reported the research findings of Kim Cameron and his team at the University of Michigan and found that a positive work environment is more productive than the negative office equivalent. The practices that lead to productivity are simple enough, yet could be difficult to implement on a large scale. The positive processes in question include offering support and compassion, avoiding blame and treating colleagues with respect and integrity, noted HBR.
The benefits that positive attitudes provide are myriad and are likely to have long-lasting effects on the office. Employees in positive working environments were found to have higher EQs, which lead to better relationships between co-workers. These friendships make employees more creative and more likely to recover more quickly from challenges. Overall happy attitudes also have the potential to reduce turnover and increase company loyalty, reported HBR.
With these results, what office wouldn't want to try increasing positivity and the emotional intelligence of employees? There are training seminars that help mitigate conflicts leading to those unhappy feelings that can often surround the workplace. Worst-case scenario? Everyone's a little bit nicer to each other – sounds like a win-win situation.