Ways to Avoid Toxic Positivity as a Leader

Toxic Positivity

Being optimistic in life is a good quality. It’s also great to bring optimism to your team as a business leader. However, there’s a possibility that it turns into toxic positivity. It happens when you force optimistic spirit even when it’s inappropriate, or the other person is going through a significant loss. You don’t want to be a leader who promotes toxic positivity. Here are the ways to avoid it. 

Allow your employees to show real emotions

Allow your employees to show real emotions

Expressing frustration or anger is natural. Everyone can feel that way. Don’t stop your employees from expressing these emotions for whatever reason. Telling them to keep these feelings inside for the sake of positivity is unhealthy. You’re only intensifying that feeling of frustration. 

Let your employees grieve

There’s nothing wrong in treating your employees like family. It helps create a relaxing environment. However, these people have real families. If they lost a loved one, allow them to grieve. Don’t say lines to make that person feel better if you know it won’t. There’s a process to go through grief and everyone deserves enough time to heal. If you want to show concern, raise funds to help with the burial expenses. If the employee requests for an extended time to mourn, approve it. 

Don’t control the narrative

When everyone is under immense pressure because of deadlines, it’s okay. Tell your employees to work hard, but rest when needed. Be encouraging and supportive, but don’t be insincere. Stop telling them to feel good in a pressure-filled environment if they don’t feel that way.

Constructive criticisms should still be honest

Most people suggest the use of constructive criticisms instead of being harsh. Sure, there are ways to express comments without hurting the other person. However, if it’s no longer accurate, it’s not a criticism anymore. You’re lying to your employees, and it’s unhealthy. No one learns from the process if you’re hiding the truth. Create an environment where everyone accepts criticisms and works on what needs to be improved. 

Don’t be afraid to show emotions

As a leader, everyone looks up to you. If you display a positivity attitude, everyone will feel the same. However, you’re human. You have the right to express emotions. Try your best to stay professional, but you can’t keep everything inside. Just because you want to maintain a positive environment doesn’t mean you have to suppress what you feel. It’s not good for you. It’s also not ideal for your employees. 

Don’t tell everyone to strive amid an adversity 

There are challenges that companies go through. There’s always a silver lining, but not everyone sees it at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with it. You can’t force everyone to find hope. For instance, during this covid crisis, you can’t tell your employees to be creative and make the most of the opportunity. Not everyone feels comfortable with it. If they wish to be enraged with the situation, it’s understandable. 

Again, it’s okay to be positive, but it could be toxic at some point. Try to avoid going beyond the line.

Photo Attribution:

1st and featured image from https://www.cpacanada.ca/-/media/cpa-digital-hub/featured-images/2020/10/hub_10_06_toxicpost-hero-700×525.jpg?la=en&hash=53DC1BEB54A2F198165D208B895036B1C45B4F97

2nd image from https://www.quantumworkplace.com/future-of-work/emotions-in-the-workplace-how-to-deal-with-emotions-at-work