Negativity has a bad rep. Even worse, negativity in the workplace is seen as an infectious germ that can quickly and easily permeate the walls, air, fingertips, minds and hearts of everyone and everything in the workplace. Understandably so, as criticism, hostility, confrontation, disempowerment, and frustration are hardly ever pleasant experiences. It is time to give negativity a good look in the eye and have a little compassion. Surely there’s got to be some use to this seemingly toxic experience?
In an evolutionary sense, things that are seemingly negative, help us survive. They often indicate some sort of threat in the environment, and initiate the flight or fight response. Negativity is useful information and it moves, sometimes even propels us, into action. In fact, negativity can be a powerful enabler of performance, if it is used consciously and well-intended.