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Understanding and Managing Negativity in the Workplace

by Linda Riepe
January/February 1995
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/understanding-and-managing-negativity-in-the-workplace/5010161/

Every center seems to have at least one person who has a tendency toward negativism. You know the type, the person who creates and fuels the grapevine, complains about other staff not doing their share, and manages to pull others into the workplace black hole of despair.

In addition to up-front whining and complaining, this person is often the source of unsettling rumors. A few words out of context, a faulty perception of an encounter, or a perceived personal slight catapults them into action. Sadly, the fallout from these individuals raises the stress level of other staff, reduces productivity, and places roadblocks in the path of problem-solving efforts.

Why are child care centers fertile ground for this type of person? Lack of benefits, low wages, intense emotional and physical demands, and a perceived lack of appreciation from the public are contributing factors. Public opinion that child care is just baby-sitting strongly impacts the self-worth of many workers in this field. Among all types of jobs and careers, child care providers, who are doing the most important job next to parenting, receive the least amount of compensation and respect. Is it any wonder that staff burnout and ...

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