• Matt Black

Dump the Grump: How Bad Behaviour at Work Brings Everyone Down

I should probably preface this piece with a disclaimer.

I’m a bit of a joker. I like to make others laugh and often go out of my way to lighten the mood with a bit of self-deprecation or sarcasm – especially at work.

I think it adds levity and a stronger feeling of connectedness between colleagues at a place that can be demanding and stressful more often than not.

But there’s a fine line between being “just messing around” and being an asshole.

Up to this point in my career, I have worked with several individuals who “are just like that” or who have “always been that way.”

You know the type…

Impolite. Inconsiderate. Stubborn. Overly sarcastic (they’re not ironic or clever – they’re just rude).

Well, I’m here to say it – enough already.

Not only are these black clouds not endearing, but they’re also destructive and causing several issues that your other employees are forced to suffer through (or have dealt with, if they’re willing).

Here are just a few ways that the grump’s crusty exterior and unprofessionalism are bringing your team and organization down:

Unpleasant work environment

It’s no mystery that many people spend more time at their place of employment than at home.

So it stands to reason that being around flat out nasty or difficult colleagues is the last thing that most want to deal with as they try to ply their trade and make an impact at work.

And before you suggest that one goes out of their way to avoid a person who’s bringing the mood down, the reality is that most companies feature a hierarchical structure that guarantees some of these folks are hard to steer clear of.

It’s just not fair (or right) to subject others to this type of negativity when they don’t have any other choice but to be at the office. The grump’s inability to check their bad attitude at the door is making long work days even longer.

Apathy amongst peers

It’s often said that the best ideas (and subsequent results!) stem from a workplace that allows for collaboration, employee growth and a healthy mix of success and adversity.

But it’s pretty tough for any of these elements to thrive if a member of your team - or worse, someone in a position of leadership - is constantly bringing everyone down with their words and actions.

Tip-toeing around someone with nothing positive to say (ever!) can be exhausting and demoralizing. It doesn’t take long for employees to “check out” or invest their energy elsewhere.

If you’ve got a grump on your hands at your organization, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Unhappy customers

It’s hard to imagine a worse scenario than having your grump deal directly with customers.

In today’s marketplace, the buyer’s options are plentiful. Customers don’t have to choose you. They can more than likely go down the street or jump to the next company’s website.

Conditions are too competitive for you to withstand the negative impact that a grump can have on your bottom line.

If a potential customer gets a bit of attitude or the lackadaisical approach that these types of people often demonstrate, that might be all it takes for them to take their business elsewhere.

Having this kind of negative force around is going to cause customers to jump ship or perhaps even cost you partnership opportunities.

Bottom line: bad behaviour = bad for business.

How have you dealt with this type of situation in your own company or team? In what ways does this negative behaviour and attitude affect you at work? Take a second to sign up and have your say in the Comments below. You can also tweet me @mattblackink.

Thanks for reading!


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