If you ever want to read a good book about using positive energy to fuel your life, work and team, you should read the “Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon. About two years ago my supervisor had my whole team read this book and implement its message and lessons in our workplace. Over the last week I have had several peers come to me and asking how they can get rid of a negative person in their life. My peers inspired me to write this blog and share the lessons that Jon Gordon shares in his book. There are many valuable pieces of information in this book but the one that I will be sharing is the one that taught me a lot about how to deal with negative people.
A little bit about the book…the story is about a guy name George who is a little down on his luck. He is not having a good personal or work life. One day his car breaks down and he learns that it will be awhile before it can be repaired so he has no choice but to ride the bus. After a few rides he becomes friends with the bus driver, Joy. Joy is essentially his mentor and shares 10 rules for positivity. One more thing you should know…the book refers to “the bus” a lot. The bus represents your personal space, your team or your family.
The rule about negative people is Rule# 8: “Post a Sign That Says “No Energy Vampires Allowed”. Jon Gordon writes:
- Identify the negative team members who are affecting the success of your bus ride.
- Open the lines of communication. Let them know they are being negative. Determine if there is a justifiable reason. Determine a course of action that will lead to individual and team success. Encourage them to get on the bus with positive energy. Give them a chance to succeed.
- If they fail to make changes and continue being negative, then you have no choice but to let them off your bus.
I like that Jon Gordon uses the term “Energy Vampires” because it’s true that negative people take the positivity out of the environment by spreading their depressing messages. By asking questions and getting to know the person you might be able to clear the air and fix some things that are causing that person to be negative. Perhaps they just simply need someone to listen to them. Never the less, always give that person a chance and if they don’t want to change their ways or understand how they impact the group it is time to part ways.
I hope this information helps answers your questions about how to deal with negative people.
For more about the Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, click here.