Are you self-aware enough to know if you’re the office kill joy? Are you chronically negative and none the wiser? When you’re the guy who kills everyone’s vibe in the office, you’re also the guy who threatens productivity and teamwork and talent. Nobody wants to be that guy.

Here are 5 signs that you may be killing everyone’s vibe in the office and five simple solutions for how to turn the ship around:

1. You Focus on Everything That is Going Wrong
Have you ever had a manager who seemingly only sees what you haven’t done, or what you haven’t done perfectly, and not what you have achieved? It can be incredibly discouraging to work for a manager who misses the successes and focuses only on the gaps. However, as an employee, you can’t fall victim to that trap. You may never get the positive-reinforcement you desire, but you can’t let that stop your career dead in its tracks — you still owe it to yourself to be productive.

Simple solution: Keep track of your successes and your stagnations all week long, to determine how many were actually positive and what held you back. In your weekly review with your Negative Nancy manager, acknowledge what was done right before you address what wasn’t. Offer some solutions and encourage positive communication in the process. You’ll inspire them and keep your own spirits up, we promise.

You Play the Blame Game
Negative people react to an issue by blaming a person. Positive people react to an issue by blaming the problem, and then they move on to solve it with their teammates.

After the problem is solved, it’s OK for somebody to be held accountable. The key is to find the root issue.

Simple solution: If you’ve been held accountable for an issue, take some time to think and uncover what held you back. Ask for some help, or for some coaching, on how to solve the problem and avoid future issues in the same vein.

You Love to Motivate With Fear
Dude, stop. There is nothing less becoming in a leader or team member than fear tactics. Scare tactics may create short-term success by scaring people to turn out good work — fast — but it’s not sustainable. Fear is draining and negative scare tactics will sabotage your success and productivity in the long run.

Simple solution:
Ask the people around you at work what it’s like to work with you, and demand honesty. Ask, “Are you afraid of failure because of me?”; “Do I motivate you to succeed, or do I scare you about failing?”. If you find out you’re a scary leader, try this: Acknowledge it. Pause. Consider taking a coaching course. Identify other solutions, there are many.

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About The Author

Rebecca Perrin is Notable Life's Content Director and a writer who covers career, marketing, brand strategy and leadership. Rebecca's lifelong career goal is comprised of two equal goals: to never try to be normal and to always raise the profile of women in leadership.

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