How to stop cynics infecting your team

By on January 22, 2013

Be open
Cynics thrive on rumours and half-truths. (‘They’re probably planning to cut your budget.’) Share asmuch as you can with your team as regularly as possible, and be on hand to answer questions. Make yours the only news worth listening to.

Ignore them
In meetings, give less attention to the cynics and more to those who make a sensible contribution.

Pass the power
We’re more likely to thrive during tricky times if we’re optimistic and take responsibility for overcoming challenges. Keep your team too busy to listen to cynics.

Take them on
Before your next team meeting, arm yourself with the facts needed to answer your cynics’ accusations.
Invite them to voice their complaints then quash them one by one.

Find champions
Enlist your most positive team members as anti-cynics to counter every sneering comment with an optimistic perspective or constructive suggestion.

Get moving
Announcing a new way? Take action as soon as possible and plan some quick wins. Cynics can’t warn that the change will ‘never work’ if it already is working.

Warn them
Meet the cynics privately and explain the impact of their behaviour on their chances of progress. There’s nothing like a little straight talking to bring out the optimist in someone.

Silence with symbolism
Cynics use emotive methods (hyperbole, scaremongering) to lower mood. Two can play that game, so use gestures to spread good feeling. So if cynics say you’re out of touch, quit your office and sit among your team.

Favour the optimists
Share publicly the fact that you value attitude alongside impact and prove it by giving opportunities to the ‘can doers’, even if they’re less skilled. Stay positive. You are the most powerful advert your team has for dismissing cynics. Don’t let them think you’re losing the faith.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply