Always assume the best in people
Negativity is not so much an emotion as it is a state of mind which affects every aspect of your personal and professional life until it subsides. It requires a lot of mental energy, it is draining and distracting, and it is very difficult to snap out of.
Negativity will reduce your patience, your concentration, your analytical skills and your empathy; and it will affect your risk taking appetite.
As a consequence, it will affect your working relationships, your problem solving skills, your productivity, the quality of your work, your tolerance towards others and your overall wellbeing. It’s nasty.
While you can’t just will away negative thoughts, you can prevent them from happening.
The biggest source of negative feelings on a team is other people: what they do, what they don’t do, how they do it. Your managers, your peers, your reports, your vendors – they are all likely sources of problems.
When the outcome of their actions is unsatisfying it’s easier to assume that they are doing so out of laziness or incompetence - and that leads to anger, resentment, jealousy, annoyance.
If you assume instead that they are as good at their job as you are at yours, then there must be a reason for their behaviour – and investigating that reason becomes something you can do, the outcome is something you can fix, and the result is stronger relationships and better functioning team you can take pride in.
Assume the best in people, and witness how it affects your wellbeing.