Can you pick a bad apple from the bunch? Every company comes across negative people. They’re not always easy to recognize, but if they stay around for a long time, they can damage overall morale.
Sometimes the negative employee is good at his or her job. They get their work done, but their acidic personalities eat away at the goals–and eventually the bottom line–of a company after a while. That’s because they drain the team members around them.
Dan Sullivan recently discussed the issue of negativity in the workplace in his 10XTalk Podcast, where he divides everyone into one of two categories:
- Those that have their own energy source (those with batteries)
- Those that are dependent on others for their energy (those without batteries)
Michael Hyatt argued on a recent blog post that a founder should not hire people without batteries.
“I want everyone in my organization to have their own battery pack. If they don’t, they just deplete everyone else. I want my people working to grow my business and reach their potential—not wasting energy making up for someone’s character deficit,” explains Hyatt.
We’ve all met people who love to drain others’ batteries; they are difficult to work with. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to recognize who on the team is keeping the others down. Hyatt shared signs that a potential employee will drain your team of energy. Without energy, there’s no creativity. Here are five signs:
1. They enjoy and Create Drama
The problem with working with people who love drama is that when there isn’t any, they can create and stir up trouble. Negative employees continually exaggerate the seriousness of co-workers’ mistakes, creating disagreements. Let’s be honest, company leaders don’t have time for that.
2. They Gossip
Drama comes with gossip. “Backbiting undermines the integrity of the team, and drains resources on managing unnecessary relational troubles,” says Hyatt.
3. They Nag a Lot
Negativity can undermine supervisors’ authority with a never-ending flow of criticism. There are times when critique is good for the growth of the business. But you can’t confuse that with cynicism, which can curb momentum.
4. They Need Constant Supervision
“People with batteries included are self-starting and self-directing. People without batteries need others to get them started and keep them going.” You need to lead a company, not micro-manage it.
5. They Won’t Accept Responsibility
Surround your team with people who can be accountable for their actions. According to Hyatt, people without batteries try to avoid responsibility for results.
6. They are Mostly Against Ideas, but Never for them
It’s great to have someone on the team asking a lot of questions but it becomes a problem when they only put others down. Sadly, negative people rarely know what they stand for; they only know what they stand against.
Think about the times when your team had to come together and face a challenge. It takes a team of positive, hard-working individuals to accomplish the impossible. But it only takes one person’s acidity to ruin it all.
Author: Camila Souza
Camila is a writer and community manager for Tech Cocktail in Miami. She has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.