Every group encounters in its life some measure of negativity. Groups that flourish are smart enough to see negativity as gifts to be engaged rather than as problems to be fixed. People get negative for any number of reasons.
- It's the only way they have been successful getting attention
- It's their preferred way of bonding
- It effectively gets them out of accountability to action
- It's what sincerely expresses their deep or chronic inconsolable anxiety
The approach is simple. We listen to see if there are important questions embedded in their penchant for pushback. We translate every declaration of negativity into questions we use to make us smarter and move us to intelligent small acts.
This disarms negativity. Only when people feel valued is it possible to find the light in their heart. The group uses the negativity as a window rather than wall. This is what smart groups do.