MANAGEMENT: How to avoid a ‘bad attitude’ from spreading

Someone who is disgruntled or angry – whether a customer, an employee, a co-worker or a supplier – can easily inflict others with their attitude. Rosabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business School offers these tips to help prevent that from happening.

  • Don’t give them power. Don’t let them occupy a disproportionate amount of your time, attention and energy.
  • Keep speaking positively. Focus on accomplishments, goals and the big picture.
  • Don’t show anger. Stay calm and professional.
  • Don’t assume that being right is enough. Having the facts on your side might be enough in a courtroom, but outside of that setting, people will judge the truth by not just your words but your actions and consistency. Show others through your authenticity how the negative person is wrong.
  • Consider a small concession. It could make you look gracious and understanding, and may help the negative person feel they have won and will go away.
  • Stick with your allies. Arm them with the facts and details, and ask for their support.
  • Don’t stop moving ahead. Don’t get held back from moving toward the future and goals you’ve set.
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