What Is Toxic Positivity?
Generally, people do not like bringing their negative emotions to their workplace. That means people in the workplace try to put up a facade. That is not a bad thing in itself, but it becomes a problem when you try to force positive thinking. Why? Because you force people or yourself to hide problems affecting you.
This toxicity can worsen when the leader forces a positive mindset onto the team. By taking away the ability of your employees to voice their complaints, you create a toxic environment hidden behind a facade of positivity. Of course, we are not saying that you or anyone else is doing this on purpose. Most of the time, someone that creates a toxic positive environment belies that they are doing the right thing. In reality, they have only made the situation worse for the person feeling negative. Although you might think you helped them, it can come across as you disregarding their emotions and brushing them aside.
The lack of trust, broken communication and secretive company environment created by toxic positivity can hurt productivity and relationships. If the person thinks about the problems at home, it can negatively affect their mental and physical health.
So, now that you know what it is, you need to learn how to deal with it.
Listen To Your Coworkers
The first step to fixing a toxic workplace is listening to your employees. That might sound like an easy thing to do, but it is the most difficult step on this list. Why? Because you need to build an environment where the workers think that they can explain their problems without thinking that they have to maintain a false positivity at all times.
So, the first step is to connect with your coworkers and gradually let them open up about the problems they want to fix.
Running into financial difficulties is part of having a job, but bringing that up in front of your boss can be a hard thing to do. Why? Because employees feel like they should be thankful that they even have a job.
In reality, this should not be kept silent by the employees, and the employer should carefully consider whether or not the employee deserves a raise in their salary. Even if the employee doesn’t, you can share your thoughts about what they can do for you to raise it.
Don’t Brush Their Problems Aside
A lot of the time, a single sentence can make all the difference. When you ask your employees to focus solely on the task at hand and forget about everything else, you limit their efficiency.
What you should do instead is, ask them about changes they want you to make that will help the team achieve the goal efficiently. That way, they have a way to share their problems, and once you deal with those problems, everyone can focus on the task at hand and get work done.
Toxic positivity can be worse than normal toxicity. It affects the productivity and efficiency of the workforce. Instead of putting on a facade, the best option is to acknowledge the problems and deal with them. By simply approaching these situations with a little bit more compassion and empathy, you can make your coworkers happy instead of making them feel like you are undermining them.