When’s the last time you felt like someone was draining you or your team? You know, people with negative energy who seem to have nothing but criticism for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with constructive feedback in the workplace. In fact, some of the healthiest organizations love to talk about their high feedback culture. But a team with an overly critical person seems to end up suffering.
A workplace study by researchers Emily Heaphy and Marcial Losada found that on the most high-performing teams, there are nearly six praises given for every one critical comment. The worst-performing teams had a ratio of one to one or in some cases even three critical comments to one positive one.
If this topic interests you, you’ll love the latest episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast about how to respond to critical people.
Think about the teams you’re on. At work, at home, at church, on the field, wherever. What’s your ratio? Are people with negative energy winning out? Who’s giving most of the praise? Who’s doing most of the criticizing? Which side of the ratio do you have the most impact on?
Just like the Apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonians, we need to build each other up, not tear each other down. So that’s where we can all start. Audit your relationships and improve your ratio. If there’s a person with negative energy on your team, the rest of you may need to work overtime adding positivity, praising successes, and building each other up. Whatever you do, don’t give in and start adding to the critical side of the ratio!
But what if you’re constantly on the receiving end of critical relationships? No matter what you do, it’s never good enough. Life.Church Pastor Craig Groeschel has identified three helpful options for responding to critical people, and you can hear them in the newest episode of the podcast. Until then, here’s my favorite quote from the podcast.