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The Teaching Space Podcast

The podcast is on pause for a year (as of August 2021) as I am tackling the final year of my masters in education (which I am doing alongside my full-time job). In the meantime, please revisit the considerable back catalogue of episodes. Also, give me a follow on Twitter, where I am still very active and sign up for my personal newsletter here. You can visit The Teaching Space website here:

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May 9, 2019

Episode 55 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores 10 ways to deal with negative colleagues.

We’ve All Been There

Unless you work on your own, I am sure you can relate to the disruptive and wide-reaching effect a negative colleague can have on a team.

If I reflect on my experience, I can remember a particular colleague who could walk into a room and the overall mood and feeling would drop dramatically. She didn’t have to say anything. It was a superpower! I don’t know if it was her body-language or something even more subtle than that. You could just sense it.

Negativity is contagious and it can have a terrible effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

I’m not suggesting you transform into a superhuman constantly happy person. We all have off days. But what I would like to do is share some simple strategies to help you deal with negative colleagues in such a way that the impact on your mental health and well-being is minimal.

10 Ways to Deal With Negative Colleagues

  1. Remember: the only person whose behaviour you can change is your own.
  2. Avoid interacting with your negative colleague if you can.
  3. Set boundaries (episode 37).
  4. Don’t get drawn into office gossip and politics.
  5. Encourage your colleague to seek HR or Union support as appropriate.
  6. Seek out positive colleagues.
  7. Don’t spend time over-analysing negative behaviour.
  8. Remember: negative behaviour is usually about the person showing it - it’s not about you.
  9. Prioritise self-care (episode 54).
  10. Raise your game - be even more positive.