Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart

Turning Around a Negative Attitude

By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd

Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to meet one on one with several front line managers at a community living agency in Waterloo Ontario.  During one of these discussions we got talking about dealing with negative attitudes.

Jennifer, the supervisor I was meeting with, had a wonderful idea for working with someone suffering from a negative attitude.  First, describe a lifeline to them.  A lifeline is a graphical representation of the key events in your life.  You draw a straight horizontal line and then starting from left to right plot the high points of your life above the line and the low points below.  The higher or lower the event, the farther from the line. 

Almost without fail, people have more good than bad.  Actually having one of your team members complete this exercise may be a bit extreme and maybe even be too personal, but showing them a sample of a lifeline and asking them to think about theirs may not be.   The point in the end is “why are you letting a few negative events in your life shape you?”  Look at all the positive!

I think this is a great way to start a conversation about a negative attitude.  What the person says and how they react to this may help you figure out how to help them be more positive.