Are you constantly battling cynicism on your team? Are your plans and suggestions often met by negative comments from the same naysayers?
If so, Management Today provides a handy guide to preventing the cynics from infecting your team.
• Be open and honest. As the Management Today article points out, cynics thrive on half-truths and rumours. So try to dispel as much doubt as you can and share news openly and honestly with your team whenever possible. Also be on hand to answer questions.
• Ignore the cynics. While they might try to demand your attention in meetings, if you give in to the cynics you will be denying time to those who make a sensible contribution.
• Pass the power. The advice is to keep your team too busy to listen to cynics.
• Take them on. Before you go into a meeting, make sure you have all the facts you need to answer the accusations from the cynics. Then their complaints can be nipped in the bud.
• Enlist champions. Counter the cynics by using your most positive team members to follow up all the sneering comments with optimistic perspectives and constructive suggestions.
• Don’t delay. If you’re announcing changes, take action as soon as possible and go for some quick wins to kill any suggestions that “it will never work”.
• Warn the cynics. Take them to one side in private and explain how their behaviour is hampering their chances of progress.
• Favour the optimists. Give opportunities to the "can-doers", even if their less skilled.