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managing negativity

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Mollylolly, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Hi, i wondered if anyone had any experiences of negativity within the dept and if so how did you overcome it?
    thanks
    p.s the negativity is historical.
     
  2. Hi, i wondered if anyone had any experiences of negativity within the dept and if so how did you overcome it?
    thanks
    p.s the negativity is historical.
     
  3. Thankfully, not in my current post. However, in a previous job - when I was a second in department - I once asked the negative member of the department what they would do to solve the problem we were discussing. She couldn't come up with anything; I suggested she tried to look at what we were wanting to do in a positive way rather than sit and *** about it. It took her by surprise. Not sure it solved the problem, made me feel better. My HOD did take me to task privately for being so outspoken publicly and suggested I shouldn't do such things. Sorry, I can't be helpful: but I do appreciate that it's difficult dealing with negativity.
     
  4. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Is it your perception of behaviour that is negative?
    In my experience (as a retired manager) if you give someone a label (negative) they usually live up to it.
    As a manager, you must manage, whatever comes your way, labelling your staff is in fact a negative form of management.
     
  5. GemLP

    GemLP New commenter

    Sadly I do agree with this - it is the same with the kids - once they have been labelled as 'naughty' or 'disruptive' , they will live up to this!
    However... some things you could do....
    Definitely ask them what they would do / suggest, or if they are moaning retrospectively about something that has happened than ask them how they would have done it differently. (You dont actually need to take on board these comments at all - unless of course they are useful!).
    I also have tried the overly positive approach - everytime something is negative, or perceived to be negative, put a huge smile on your face and reply "well that gives us a tremendous opportunity to do it better this time... let's meet and discuss this further... is Weds lunch ok with you? Excellent I'll see you then." Works becuase often they wont want to give up their lunch and it usually means extra work (historically in my experience the ones who are the most negative are the ones who are abit stuck in their ways / see themselves as already under a lot of time restraints...!)
    Forgive me if I am generalising, or stereotyping staff- that is not my intention, just going off of what I have experienced!
     
  6. I'm dealing with negativity within the department as well and it is difficult and causes low esteem with the rest of the department.
    The same person has the cheek to say that they feel the department are pulling apart but it is down to them that this is the case. I think the only way to solve the problem is for them to leave if they are so unhappy with how things are ran. I would also like some advice on how to motivate these people so my job can be more enjoyable.
     
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    You come over as not very confident in your management role, you have to present the right image to your subordinates and in so doing you set out your ground rules clearly. Sometimes what you perceive is not what is happening.

     
  8. I like the notion of 'historical' negativity; it does become ingrained, doesn't it? I've expended a lot of energy 'being positive' in the face of it. As often as people repeat negative statements (moaning), I will repeat the positive counter-response, usually asking for a solution. There is no point in engaging with vague/empty comments, for example, 'Our IT Department is rubbish!'. That deserves a 'Really? Oh, shame.....'
    However, 'This student cannot possibly do the GCSE - she should only do Entry Level!' needs addressing, particularly since that student does have a chance at GCSE.
    So, my advice would be to choose your 'battles'; address what can or must be changed, and let the rest wash over you. And lead by example: stay positive. Just as negativity can become ingrained, so can positivity!
     
  9. I don't think you will get very far for long if you take this advice and consider your colleagues as 'subordinates'!
     
  10. I too have 30 years experience but hope I never reach a point when I refer to colleagues as subordinate, how dreadful.
     
  11. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    It is OK to call them negative but not subordinate. Ditherer.
     
  12. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    jklmn: Your type may be part of the problem then.
     
  13. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I've been wanting to respond to this for a while but have been unwilling to be flamed! However, I'll risk it!
    It's easy to assume, with negative staff, that management (whether HOD or SLT) are the problem. However, I have worked with some very negative staff in my time and I can honestly say I've followed all the advice here and it hasn't worked. The source of the problem in my case was that staff disliked change so they grumbled about everything to try and feel that they had power. By asking them for suggestions it added to their unease - they wanted to feel someone was in charge.
    I now make firm decisions, it is what I'm paid for, and I know I am a kind, rational and eminently sensible person with good management skills. I won't ask anyone to do anything beyond their role and I won't make unwise decisions either. If I am faced with criticism, I don't argue, I just say "it is a shame you feel that way but for the reasons I've just outlined I feel this is a necessary move."
    Sometimes the best thing you can be is a strong leader and that means taking risks. Good luck.x
     
  14. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Sound.

     
  15. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Amen to that!
     
  16. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Haha - I was SURE I'd get a roasting, tes is always so sure any problems at work are down to the HOD/SLT!
     
  17. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Surely not on the HOD forum though... [​IMG]
     
  18. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    This could be your day to take the blame!
     

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