Negative self talk worksheets

Challenging Negative Automatic Thoughts: 5 Worksheets (+PDF)

Automatic thoughts are images, words, or other kinds of mental activity that pop into your head in response to a trigger.

These thoughts can seem mundane or unimportant, but they can, in fact, be extremely impactful. The types of automatic thoughts a person has can affect their health outcomes as well as their overall quality of life.

This article will cover what automatic thinking is and how it affects people’s lives, what automatic thoughts look like, and how to break the cycle of negativity with positive thoughts.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Emotional Intelligence Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will not only enhance your ability to understand and work with your emotions but will also give you the tools to foster the emotional intelligence of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is Automatic Thinking?
  • Our Cognitive Bias: Construction of the Self-Concept
  • Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Triad
  • 50+ Examples of Positive and Negative Automatic Thoughts
  • Cognitive Restructuring of Core Beliefs and Automatic Thoughts
  • 5 CBT Worksheets For Challenging Negative Self-Talk and Automatic Thoughts
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What Is Automatic Thinking?

Automatic thinking refers to automatic thoughts that stem from beliefs people hold about themselves and the world (Soflau & David, 2017). Automatic thoughts can be considered “surface-level, non-volitional, stream-of-consciousness cognitions” that “can appear in the form of descriptions, inferences, or situation-specific evaluations” (Soflau & David, 2017).

As the name indicates, these automatic thoughts cannot be controlled by people directly, since they are reflexive reactions based on the beliefs people hold about themselves and the world. However, people can indirectly control these thoughts by challenging the beliefs that lead to them.

Relevant research into automatic thinking began with Aaron Beck’s research into how negative automatic thoughts affect the development of depression (Beck et al., 1979). Before long, researchers decided that positive automatic thoughts were also important to study, and particularly the relationship between both positive and negative automatic thoughts (Ingram & Wisnicki, 1988).

Studies have indicated that there are a variety of consequences of being disposed toward negative automatic thoughts rather than positive automatic thoughts.

In a study by Riley et al., their focus was on the relationship between automatic thoughts and depression in a research group of people living with HIV/AIDS. They found that in people with both depression and HIV/AIDS, negative automatic thoughts are associated with depressive symptoms, and vice versa (Riley et al., 2017).

In athletes, negative automatic thoughts can lead to burnout (Chang et al., 2017). Finally, in a sample of university students, negative automatic thoughts led to more mental health symptoms and decreased levels of self-esteem (Hicdurmaz et al., 2017).

Our Cognitive Bias: Construction of the Self-Concept

Self-concept refers to how people perceive themselves and their past experiences, their abilities, their prospects for the future, and any other aspects of the self.

Aaron Beck’s cognitive triad (discussed below) deals with self-concept and the construction of the self. The basic idea of how our self-concepts and cognitive biases affect our lives has to do with automatic thoughts.

For example, someone with a negative self-referential schema is more likely to take things personally, leading to automatic thoughts like “People are not talking to me because I am an unlikable person,” rather than exploring other possibilities (Disner et al., 2017). A negative self-referential schema can also lead to more severe symptoms of depression.

Most importantly, a negative self-concept can lead to an unending cycle of negative thoughts.

This is because people with negative self-referential schemas exhibit attentional biases. For example, when asked to decide whether an adjective describes themselves or not, people with depression are more likely than a control group to select negative adjectives (Disner et al., 2017).

Depressive people also show an attentional bias by being quicker than healthy the control group to endorse negative adjectives and quicker to reject positive adjectives (Disner et al., 2017).

In turn, being likelier to endorse negative adjectives is correlated with longer depressive episodes (as reported afterward), demonstrating the cycle of negativity.

Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Triad

According to psychiatrist Aaron Beck and colleagues,

“[the] cognitive triad consists of three major cognitive patterns that induce the patient to regard himself, his future, and his experiences in an idiosyncratic manner.”


According to Beck’s cognitive triad, someone who is depressed will automatically have a negative view of themselves, their experiences (that is, the things that the world around them causes to happen to them), and their future. According to this model, “the other signs and symptoms of the depressive syndrome” are “consequences of the activation of the negative cognitive patterns” (Beck et al., 1979).

According to Beck, this is because a depressed person “tends to perceive his present, his future, and the outside world (the cognitive triad) in a negative way and consequently shows a biased interpretation of his experiences, negative expectancies as to the probable success of anything he undertakes, and a massive amount of self-criticism” (Beck et al. , 1979).

In other words, people who are depressed have a negative view of themselves and their lives, and these negative views lead to further symptoms of depression.

These symptoms of depression often then lead people to have a negative view of themselves and their lives, creating a cycle of negativity.

50+ Examples of Positive and Negative Automatic Thoughts

So, how do automatic thoughts actually present themselves? Since automatic thinking research began with negative thoughts, we’ll start with negative automatic thoughts.

According to the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ-30) developed by Steven Hollon and Philip Kendall in 1980, some examples of negative automatic thoughts include:

“I feel like I’m up against the world.”
“I’m no good.”
“Why can’t I ever succeed?”
“No one understands me.”
“I’ve let people down.”
“I don’t think I can go on.”
“I wish I were a better person.
“I’m so weak.”
“My life’s not going the way I want it to.”
“I’m so disappointed in myself.”
“Nothing feels good anymore.”
“I can’t stand this anymore.”
“I can’t get started.”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I wish I were somewhere else.”
“I can’t get things together.”
“I hate myself.”
“I’m worthless.”
“Wish I could just disappear.”
“What’s the matter with me?”
“I’m a loser.”
“My life is a mess.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’ll never make it.”
“I feel so helpless.”
“Something has to change.”
“There must be something wrong with me.”
“My future is bleak.”
“It’s just not worth it.”
“I can’t finish anything.”

The revised version of the automatic thoughts questionnaire (ATQ-R) (Kendall et al., 1989), which is a measure still used as a basis for automatic thinking research (Koseki et al., 2013), lists the following positive items as additional examples of automatic thoughts (along with the 30 negative thoughts listed above):

“I’m proud of myself.
“I feel fine.”
“No matter what happens, I know I’ll make it.”
“I can accomplish anything.”
“I feel good.”
“I’m warm and comfortable.”
“I feel confident I can do anything I set my mind to.”
“I feel very happy.”
“This is super!”
“I’m luckier than most people.”

According to Rick Ingram and Kathy Wisnicki (1988), some more examples of positive automatic thoughts include:

“I am respected by my peers.”
“I have a good sense of humor.”
“My future looks bright.”
“I will be successful.”
“I’m fun to be with.”
“I am in a great mood.”
“There are many people who care about me.”
“I’m proud of my accomplishments.”
“I will finish what I start.”
“I have many good qualities.”
“I am comfortable with life.”
“I have a good way with others.”
“I am a lucky person.”
“I have friends who support me.”
“Life is exciting.”
“I enjoy a challenge.”
“My social life is terrific.
“There’s nothing to worry about.”
“I’m so relaxed.”
“My life is running smoothly.”
“I’m happy with the way I look.”
“I take good care of myself.”
“I deserve the best in life.”
“Bad days are rare.”
“I have many useful qualities.”
“There is no problem that is hopeless.”
“I won’t give up.”
“I state my opinions with confidence.”
“My life keeps getting better.”
“Today I’ve accomplished a lot.”


Cognitive Restructuring of Core Beliefs and Automatic Thoughts

Positive automatic thoughts can offset the negative effects of both negative automatic thoughts and stress in general.

For example, people with frequent positive automatic thoughts are likely to respond to stress by feeling that their lives are more meaningful, while people with infrequent positive automatic thoughts are likely to respond to stress by feeling that their lives are less meaningful (Boyraz & Lightsey, 2012).

Furthermore, higher levels of positive automatic thoughts are correlated with higher levels of happiness (Lightsey, 1994).

This indicates that in order to have better mental health outcomes, one should reduce their negative automatic negative thoughts and increase their positive automatic thoughts. This is because negative thinking is natural and it’s impossible to completely eliminate it, but outweighing negative thoughts with positive thoughts is possible.

One way to do this is with cognitive restructuring (CR), which involves (Hope et al., 2010):

  • Identification of problematic cognitions known as automatic thoughts;
  • Identification of the cognitive distortions in the automatic thoughts;
  • A rational disputation of automatic thoughts with Socratic dialogue;
  • Development of a rational rebuttal to the automatic thoughts.

Research in CR with automatic thoughts indicates that effective CR might focus on negative self-evaluative automatic thoughts, especially ones triggered by certain situations.

One example could be someone whose automatic thought when faced with an uncomfortable situation is, “I don’t know what to say” (Hope et al., 2010). Focusing on this type of thought is helpful because it can easily be disproved with exposure and role-playing.

Another effective CR method when dealing with other-referent automatic thoughts (as opposed to self-referent automatic thoughts) is to minimize the consequences of the negative automatic thoughts. For example, a person could ask herself, “So what if she thinks you are boring?”

Aside from CR, research indicates that people with higher levels of dispositional mindfulness are less likely to experience automatic negative thoughts, potentially because they can more easily let go of negative thoughts or direct their attention elsewhere (Frewen et al., 2008).

That study also indicated that a mindfulness intervention derived from both mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was effective at reducing negative thoughts.

This indicates that along with positive thinking, mindfulness is another way to counteract negative automatic thinking.

5 CBT Worksheets for Challenging Negative Self-Talk and Automatic Thoughts

For practical ways to challenge and dispute negative automatic thinking, one can try using one of these worksheets.

They’re based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, commonly referred to as CBT.

Getting Rid of ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts

This simple worksheet starts out by offering some information about automatic thoughts and their consequences.

The rest of the worksheet is split into three columns: Trigger, Automatic Negative Thought (ANT), and Adaptive Thought, and aims to help people understand and dispute (if necessary) their automatic thoughts. This worksheet is a great introduction to automatic thoughts.

Identifying ANTs: Challenging Different Types of Automatic Thought

Identifying ANTS gives an overview of ten different types of ANTS and what they look like in daily life.

In the space provided, you can practice identifying each type of ANT, to help you better understand your subconscious thoughts and take the first step toward replacing them.

Along with the exercise, you’ll find five Challenge Questions you can use to tackle each ANT when you notice it popping up.

Thought/Feeling Record Worksheet

This worksheet focuses on specific negative automatic thoughts, one at a time, and examine what triggers them, as well as their consequences.

This exercise can help people understand their negative automatic thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. It’s excellent for someone looking to extensively examine their individual thoughts.

Positive Replacement Thoughts Worksheet

This Positive Replacement Thoughts Worksheet also asks users to list all the automatic negative thoughts that come to their minds, then asks them to thoughtfully come up with alternative positive thoughts with which they can replace the negative thoughts.

It is more concise than the two Thought Records above, and since it does not offer information about automatic thoughts, it is a good option for someone who understands the concept and is ready to start replacing their negative thoughts with positive ones.

Questions for Challenging Thoughts

Another simple resource, this one-page worksheet serves as an appendix of questions focused on challenging automatic thoughts.

It includes a list of questions that users can use to dispute negative thoughts, and works well with any of the other Automatic Thoughts exercises on this page.

This straightforward tool is a great grab-and-go option for people who want to use Socratic Questioning and fact-checking techniques in dealing with automatic negative thoughts.

A Take-Home Message

Negative automatic thinking not only leads to poor mental health outcomes, but it can also lead to a cycle of negativity—certain mental health issues can lead to increased negative thoughts, and vice versa.

While these thoughts can seem impossible to avoid, it’s possible to use positive thinking to counteract them. And through CBT methods, people can train themselves to think more positive thoughts in general.

At times, “the power of positive thinking” sounds like it’s just a pseudo-inspirational cliché. In this case, though, having healthy beliefs about oneself can lead to more positive automatic thoughts, which can indeed be beneficial.

Most importantly, thinking positive thoughts and having positive beliefs is absolutely free of cost, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

What do you think of negative automatic thoughts? Have you ever confronted your negative automatic thoughts, and if so, how did you do it? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Emotional Intelligence Exercises for free.

  • Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive Therapy of Depression. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  • Boyraz, G., & Lightsey, O. R. (2012). Can Positive Thinking Help? Positive Automatic Thoughts as Moderators of the Stress-Meaning Relationship. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(2), 267-277.
  • Chang, K. H., Lu, F. J. H., Chyi, T., Hsu, Y. W., Chan, S. W., & Wang, E. T. W. (2017). Examining the stress-burnout relationship: the mediating role of negative thoughts. PeerJ, 5(1), e4181.
  • Disner, S. G., Shumake, J. D., & Beevers, C. G. (2017). Self-referential schemas and attentional bias predict severity and naturalistic course of depression symptoms. Cognition & Emotion, 31(4), 632-644.
  • Frewen, P. A., Evans, E. M., Maraj, N., Dozois, D. J. A., & Partridge, K. (2008). Letting Go: Mindfulness and Negative Automatic Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(6), 758-774.
  • Hicdurmaz, D., Inci, F., & Karahan, S. (2017). Predictors of Mental Health Symptoms, Automatic Thoughts, and Self-Esteem Among University Students. Psychological Reports, 120(4), 650-669.
  • Hollon, S. D., & Kendall, P. C. (1980). Cognitive self-statements in depression: Development of an automatic thoughts questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4(4), 383-395.
  • Hope, D. A., Burns, J. A., Hayes, S. A., Herbert, J. D., & Warner, M. D. (2010). Automatic Thoughts and Cognitive Restructuring in Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 34(1), 1-12.
  • Ingram, R. E., & Wisnicki, K. S. (1988). Assessment of Positive Automatic Cognition. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(6), 898-902.
  • Kendall, P. C., Howard, B. L., & Hays, R. C. (1989). Self-referent speech and psychopathology: The balance of positive and negative thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 13(6), 583-598.
  • Koseki, S., Noda, T., Yokoyama, S., Kunisato, Y., Ito, D., Suyama, H., Matsuda, T., Sugimura, Y. , Ishihara, N., Shimizu, Y., Nakazawa, K., Yoshida, S., Arima, K., & Suzuki, S. (2013). The relationship between positive and negative automatic thought and activity in the prefrontal and temporal cortices: A multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(1), 352-359.
  • Lightsey, O. R. (1994). Thinking Positive as a Stress Buffer – The Role of Positive Automatic Cognitions in Depression and Happiness. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41(3), 325-334.
  • Rana, M., Sthapit, S., & Sharma, V. D. (2017). Assessment of Automatic Thoughts in Patients with Depressive Illness at a Tertiary Hospital in Nepal. Journal of the Nepal Medical Association, 56(206), 248-255
  • Riley, K. E., Lee, J. S., & Safren, S. A. (2017). The Relationship Between Automatic Thoughts and Depression in a Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for People Living with HIV/AIDS: Exploring Temporality and Causality. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 41(5), 712-719.
  • Soflau, R., & David, D. O. (2017). A Meta-Analytical Approach of the Relationships Between the Irrationality of Beliefs and the Functionality of Automatic Thoughts. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 41(2), 178-192.

8 Printable Negative Self-Talk Worksheets for 2023

by Jessa Pangilinan

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Negative self-talk is one of the most difficult habits to avoid. More often than not, we find ourselves thinking or saying things we do not mean to, allowing our inner demons to come out and play.

In moments like this, how do you deal with those voices?

How do you shift your thoughts and feelings and have a positive mindset?

In this post, we share with you seven printable negative self-talk worksheets that can help you challenge and change your thoughts. Think of it as a form of meditation—it’s time to rewire your brain and start manifesting your dreams.

Let’s check them out!

What You Will Learn

  • 1. 14-Step Guide to Stopping Negative Self Talk
  • 2. Challenging Negative Thoughts
  • 3. On Fighting Negative Self-Talk
  • 4. Positive Self-Talk for Middle Schoolers
  • 5. How to Challenge Negative Thoughts
  • 6. Positive and Negative Thoughts
  • 7. Changing Thoughts
  • 8. Challenge and Reframe Negative Thoughts
  • Final Thoughts on Negative Self-Talk Worksheets

1. 14-Step Guide to Stopping Negative Self Talk

Download PDF

Here’s one we have personally designed for you—a step-by-step guide to stop your negative self-talk habit. As you can see, it consists of 14 steps that focus not just on the way you talk to yourself, but also the way you think. Ultimately, it is centered on mindfulness.

Using this worksheet can help you reframe your thoughts and rewire your brain. Here at HappierHuman, we believe that mindfulness is one of the most critical values for achieving sincere happiness and life satisfaction. Sometimes we just need to let our minds achieve peace and clarity.

If you want a simple yet meaningful worksheet on how to stop your negative self-talk, we suggest downloading this template!

2. Challenging Negative Thoughts

Designed by Therapist Aid and inspired by J.S. Beck’s book on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), this worksheet aims to help people challenge their negative thoughts and self-talk by considering another person’s perspective. Each question allows you to talk to yourself in a more objective manner, making it seem like you are talking to a friend or family member.

Therapist Aid provides a disclaimer, stating that the worksheet assumes that the person answering has some basic knowledge of CBT. We have analyzed the questions and think they are still answerable, even if you have no knowledge of CBT. As long as you take the time to answer them, you will be able to assess yourself.

Try this worksheet when you have free time to challenge your negative thoughts. You can also build your goals, dreams, and plans after analyzing your answers.

3. On Fighting Negative Self-Talk

This is a rather fun worksheet to fill out. It was designed by Natalie Harney, an illustrator who struggled with fighting her inner demons before eventually becoming successful. She shares this worksheet in her blog to help more people silence the negative thoughts in their minds and become happier and healthier.

According to Harney, this worksheet helped a lot in honing her creativity and productivity. For her, breaking down negative thoughts and actually turning them into positive ones is one of the keys to success and happiness. This might also work for you, so we suggest getting a pen and paper and start writing down your thoughts and feelings.

You will need a separate paper when answering this negative self-talk worksheet, as it is simply a diagram without an answer sheet. Use your journal if you have one.

4. Positive Self-Talk for Middle Schoolers

Centervention believes that a positive mindset is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. We agree, since there is a lot of research to back up this claim. Some studies even suggest that having a positive outlook on life can boost our immune system and make you physically healthy.

This positive self-talk worksheet aims to guide middle schoolers to practice positive thinking as early as their teenage years.

We have checked out this printable and also think it is a good fit for young adults. If you have teenagers or young adults at home, we suggest printing this sheet out for them.

5. How to Challenge Negative Thoughts

Atrapamente says that negative thinking is one of the most common problems people deal with. Dwelling on those thoughts will not take you anywhere, so it is a good idea to take steps to overcome them.

Check out these questions from Atrapamente and treat them as journal prompts whenever you write. Prepare a separate sheet of paper or dedicate a page from your journal where you can assess your thoughts and feelings. You don’t need to answer them all at once; one or two every day or week should suffice.

6. Positive and Negative Thoughts

Here’s a simple worksheet from Mylemarks that works for all ages. You will need to write down your negative thoughts first and then turn them into positive ones. As the organization says, your thoughts can help you determine how you will handle the situation you are in.

Negative thoughts will only make your stress and anxiety worse. If you want to live a happier and healthier life, you need to start learning how to live with a positive mindset—and these worksheets can help you with that.

7. Changing Thoughts

Here’s another worksheet from Mylemarks that is slightly more detailed. Maybe you can download and print both, using the previous one for your general thoughts and this one for your specific thoughts.


Challenge and Reframe Negative Thoughts

This is one of our favorite worksheets on this list. It’s not just about printing out the worksheet and answering it; you also have to follow a step-by-step procedure for changing and challenging your negative thoughts. MindMyPeelings goes the extra mile to help you overcome your negative thinking.

If you decide to use their worksheet, they have an entire article that talks about how you can handle your negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. This is related to how you are supposed to answer their worksheet.

Final Thoughts on Negative Self-Talk Worksheets

We hope that you were able to find the best negative self-talk worksheets for your situation. You can try one or all of the worksheets on this list and see which one works best for you.

It is ok to have negative thoughts sometimes, but it is important not to dwell on them. Change them into positive thoughts and thrive!

10 types of employees who will ruin your business - Career on vc.


Hello! My name is Misha Fadeev, I am the owner and head of the AMP digital agency, I run the Fadeevshchina blog and the telegram channel of the same name. Today I will not talk about marketing, but on an important topic for any business - about working with personnel.

120 920 views

I always say that the main capital of our agency is not an office, not furniture, not equipment, but people. I've been in the recruiting and training business for 20 years and in that time I've identified a few basic types of people that you need to AVOID if you don't want your business to stall or fail altogether. nine0003

Drainers. Like the "Avengers", only they do not take revenge on anyone, but simply leak everything that you entrust them with.

1. Man-Checklist: from and to, then home

The main problem of a person with a checklist in his head is that you can't find fault with him. Formally, it works fine. Meticulously performs all the tasks that are assigned to him. But he always does it. Looking for a video filming contractor? OK! Found. Publish a blog post? OK! Published.

But the found contractor misses all the deadlines and at the same time costs three times more than similar contractors who do everything on time. And the blogger's post was published with a bunch of errors. The brand was named incorrectly, the positioning was not announced, plus the video was released at the wrong time (the online store was not ready to receive traffic) - so, in the end, the money for publication was wasted. nine0003

But the performer was not asked to check and control all this, he was only asked to do it - he did it!

The problem is that the Checklist Man does NOT want to load into his head the fact that all the tasks are interconnected. And “finding a contractor” means finding a GOOD contractor with whom it is convenient and profitable to work. The real goal is not just to “release a video from a blogger”, but to make a publication for a blogger that will reflect the entire positioning of the brand and products, and which will bring sales to the client. nine0003

One way to calculate the Checklist Man is to see how he responds to tasks. If an employee, in response to a specific and understandable assignment, says “I will try!” instead of "I will!" - he instantly relieves himself of the moral responsibility for completing the task. So his conscience will be clear if everything turns out to be in vain: “Yes, I promised to try - I tried! No one promised you results."

You can, of course, get confused and start programming a person with a checklist in his head like prehistoric computers - with punched cards. Namely, to compose very, very, very detailed tasks with sooooo detailed descriptions and chewing of each action to the atomic level. With a bunch of KPIs and ready-made solutions for all the additional complexities that may come up. This is how we work with beginners who are not yet aware of all the subtleties. nine0003

But you understand that this only increases the cost of solving the problem. Because all this chewing is done by much more expensive and overworked employees. And often the business owner himself.

A good effective employee must independently understand WHAT and, most importantly, WHY he is doing. See the target and taxi without constant microcontrol.

2. Mechanic Polesov is an ebullient lazybones

Mechanic Polesov is an entertaining character of Ilf and Petrov. A lazy bastard. Nature is carried away, ebulliently active, but quickly cooling down. There is enough interest to dismantle the old gate, but it is already boring to assemble new ones. In principle, Comrade Polesov does not deal with his direct locksmith duties - there is no time, he always has many projects. nine0003

Such a character easily passes interviews. His eyes are burning already in the first minutes of the conversation, he is immediately ready to act. At the same time, it does not pour water and does not pull rubber.

Polesov has a lot of projects in his portfolio in which he participated. But there are few completed projects, and he does not stay at one place of work for a long time.

In addition to working for mechanic Polesov, he has 1001 hobbies: he LOVES TO TRAVEL, does nine types of sports dances and participates in the volunteer movement. For all these hobbies, he will need urgent days off. nine0003

As the seething lazy person works, the company will accumulate a pile of unfinished business and tons of hatred from colleagues who are forced to complete his projects and protect their projects from the active participation of Polesov.

3. Human Carrier Pigeon

In an efficient company, each technological process must be built in such a way that each link in the chain brings some additional value, add value. Agree, it would be foolish to keep a worker at the plant, whose task is to stand at the conveyor and just touch the parts passing by with your finger, without doing anything with them at all. nine0003

Man - Carrier Pigeon performs the function of forwarding letters and messages. “Vasya, I need you to get this and that from the contractor. ” Vasya takes the envelope in his beak and carries this message to the contractor. After some time, Vasya knocks on your window with an envelope from the contractor: "I can't." You write a new message: “Why? I need to be able to." Vasya spreads his gray wings and flies with a message to the addressee. And so on ad infinitum... Unless, of course, you have infinite patience.

The pigeon man does not understand that he must, in addition to transmitting your messages, achieve some goals. The dove man takes no responsibility. “Well, what can I do if the contractor said he can’t? Kurlyk! As a rule, the problem lies in the fact that a person does not want (cannot, is not able) to delve into the real essence of the tasks in which he participates - therefore, he cannot add any value to the process. nine0003

No company needs such a person - his functionality can be replaced without any loss (and even saving time!) with one button in the Gmail interface. If you want to feed the pigeons - take bread crumbs and go to the park, there are as many as you like, and it's definitely cheaper than keeping a useless employee on staff.

4. Drama Queen

As a rule, this character has serious problems on the personal front, or there is no personal front, and all the unexpressed energy, everything unspoken and unresolved at home spills into the working plane. nine0003

Often, an effective responsible employee who is crushed by an overwhelming amount of routine work and the stupidity of colleagues often turns into a Drama Queen. Or maybe he burned out without the right motivation.

The inability to do one's work with high quality and feel satisfaction from the result causes constant, accumulating irritation. At the same time, an inattentive manager does not notice or ignores a seething employee. And the responsible employee is shy or, out of a sense of pride, does not want to admit that he has problems and directly ask for help. Therefore, the call for help is expressed indirectly - in the format of a series of tantrums and rudeness in corporate correspondence. nine0003

I myself live at work, I find friends-enemies and even love in the same professional circle, and all my emotions find an outlet precisely in work. Often I break down on trifles and trifles, when in fact I am annoyed-loaded with more global problems.

But balance is important here, the ability to say a stop word to yourself and switch to a working mode: remember that we don’t have “Dom-2” here and that we don’t build relationships, we don’t assert ourselves, but we work work to earn money and pay payments (and maybe buy some purchases!). nine0003

Drama Queen (of any gender!) is armed with all the tricks of "female logic": reading between the lines, hidden meanings, foolishness, and so on and so forth. A person translates purely work situations into the plane of personal relationships and personal emotions and clings to any reason to inflate the drama with himself in the lead role.

It is difficult to work with people who are a theater of one actor - any communication with them requires a double or even triple expenditure of resources. You don’t just think “How can I make Vasya do “A” in order to get the result “B”, but you also plan development options: “What will Vasya think about this “B”, will he be offended? In what tone and what words should I ask him to do "A"? You not only control his work, but also smooth out all conflicts and minimize damage from sudden insults or even tantrums. nine0003

It's hard for colleagues too: when no one wants to run into a tantrum and mess with Drama Queen, they go with their tasks and questions to calmer employees. Who wants to do someone else's work?

The worst thing is if you (the manager) are also such a hysteric and are also looking for a reason for scandal and drama. Then the resource of a third party will be spent - less crazy employees who will try to return the woman's squabble to the working mainstream.

This, by the way, is one of the reasons why Torshinsky Trust was left without Elena Torshina - at some point I just got tired of the one-man theater and the need to constantly anticipate tantrums, take into account the possibility of their occurrence from scratch for the most insignificant that does not affect the business in any way. nine0003

5. Radio man, or Lenin on an armored car

The radio man loves to broadcast. He always stands up for everything good and against everything bad. From him there are always correct, bright, good initiatives and proposals.

The only problem is that the radio does not have a function to do something, the maximum that it can do is set the mood. Jump on the armored car and joyfully command: “Hurrah, comrades! We must do what is necessary, and if it is not necessary - let's not do it! nine0003

A radio person can voice generally correct things, but there is no sense in empty broadcasting - the real exhaust is zero, only a waste of time on unproductive discussion.

In our agency it is strictly forbidden to set tasks in the format “Guys, let's do X” or “Guys, we need to do X”. Because the usual response of colleagues to such proposals will be “Yes, of course! Let's!" - after which everyone goes about their business and absolutely NOTHING is done.

In our working correspondence, each task, each initiative should have two parts: informational and resolution. In the first part of the informational message on the task, it is written what is happening, the problem is what problem we plan to solve. In the second operative part - to whom and what and in what timeframe it is proposed to do. “You need to do A. To get A, you need to do B and C. You, Petya, will do B, and you, Natasha, will do C.” nine0003

And only then, from inspired demagogy, after which each participant would leave satisfied, and the job would not have been done, we move into a productive discussion of real specific tasks with real concrete results.

6. Man "I'm not with them"

The person "I'm not with them" for some objective or subjective reasons does not fully attribute himself to the team of your company. He always doubts the decisions of the manager, the quality of the work of his colleagues, the efficiency of the business as a whole - because for some reason (he may not remember it himself) he concluded that his company is muddy, works unprofessionally and nothing good can be done maybe. At the same time, he seems to appreciate himself, so he just keeps aloof from everything. nine0003

Psychologists say that a person may feel embarrassed about his relationship partner primarily because of his own low self-esteem. Perhaps this is also true in the case of the "I'm not with them" person.

Or maybe he's really really cool, and you're kind of creepy. One way or another, in the long run, with such an employee, one can hardly count on something good.

Such a character can work normally and even be useful - sometimes a completely detached assessment and an outside view are useful. The main “BUT” is that sooner or later a person will be so embarrassed by you that he will decide to fall off completely. And then it turns out that the resources that were spent on his training for work are wasted. nine0003

7. Good boy

The leader's favorite employee is a good boy who always agrees with everything and never argues about anything. Such a person is easy to manage, you can rely on him and - most importantly - he will never argue. Perhaps he works worse than other employees, but he is very loyal: always pleasant and always agreeable.

One problem: when such a puppet is deprived of the guiding hand of the puppeteer, it turns into a useless soft rag. A person without his own opinion and his own initiatives is not independent. That is, this is not an automatic machine, not a machine that produces something useful regardless of the operator, but a hand tool that constantly needs to be directed. nine0003

And even trying to work independently, the pet will not be 100% effective, because the team will not take him seriously - and he himself, having heard enough of the boss, will not have a good opinion of his colleagues.

Control yourself and don't start pampering and bringing closer even those subordinates that you really, really like. Do not make weak-willed henchmen out of full-fledged employees.

8. Yes-Man

Yes-Man is a kind of seemingly positive character. This is an “ideal” employee, one who conscientiously takes on any task and is always ready to work extracurricularly, do someone else’s work, join in any process and take on any responsibility. Such a person can plug up any hole, throw him into any fire, entrust him with the most difficult things - and be sure that he will do his best. nine0003

The problem of an employee who does not know the word "no" is a quick burnout. Literally in a couple of glorious years of non-stop operation, Yes-Man turns from a goose that lays golden eggs into a dressed carcass. The strength left him. His life has left. He knows that the reward for successfully completing a difficult task will be an even more difficult task, so his efficiency drops and his motivation is at zero.

At some point, only a cracked shell remains from Yes-Man: sick of work, sick of tasks, sick of colleagues - he can no longer generate anything useful and new. A walking corpse in the office is a living example for other employees: this is what happens if you are as diligent and selfless as you are. nine0003

It is very important for a manager to get confused and organize a working system of motivation for smart employees, as well as to limit Yes-Man’s work strictly to his own tasks - not to let it be scattered and force him to restrain his own impulses to plug all the weak points of the business with the ass of a strong employee.

9. North Korean general

An honored employee, often an old comrade-in-arms of the boss, with whom he has built a business hand in hand over the years. In terms of experience, he is the same age as the company! The whole chest is in orders! That's just half of the orders received 50 years ago, the second half - anniversary medals for the fact that the dude just lived another 50 years. nine0003

The general has great authority among his young colleagues and the boss's endless trust. He is confident in what he says and what he does. One “but”: he says more and more nonsense that is irrelevant to the current moment, but does complete nonsense. A person is no longer able to doubt his own authority, to reject the old experience and learn something new. For this reason, even a loyal, brave old warrior is usually mischievous.

Unfortunately, marketing is an industry that changes very, very quickly. Often in a year or two such drastic changes take place that if you don’t keep your finger on the pulse, don’t sniff the market, don’t change your working methods, you will irrevocably fall behind. And if you live by old merits and old experience, denying everything new, you will not be effective. If your general is old not only in body, but also in brains, it's time to send him to a well-deserved retirement or switch to tasks that do not require quick reaction, learning and flexibility. nine0003

And worst of all, a well-deserved employee who sits in a comfort zone and fights not just for the old ideals and principles of work, but simply shakes for his comfort zone.

10. Neither fish nor meat

A person comes to a new place of work and sits quietly. Sitting for a year, two. If the company is large, and the position is ordinary, it can sit for ten years without any special achievements and without any problems. There are successful projects, but he appeared there rather than became the reason for success. There are failures - but it is also impossible to say that it is his fault. In principle, there is nothing that could be said accurately and confidently: “VASYA DID IT, Vasya IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS!” Vasya seems to be there, but at the same time he is not seen or heard. nine0003

The danger of a person "neither fish nor fowl", who does not manifest himself in any way, is quite obvious. Neither colleagues nor the manager knows what to expect from him. Either a person does not have enough challenge to open up, and then his incredible potential is wasted in vain for routine tasks. Either the employee lacks a kick in the ass to get out of his stupor and begin to really develop. Either your employee is generally a mediocre impostor, and in vain receives a salary - and it was high time to kick him out! The true essence of our little mermaid will be revealed at the most inopportune moment - when suddenly some very important issue and a bunch of office money will depend on this person. nine0003

Don't want to play the lottery? Then make sure that all your employees have a challenge. Everyone should have tasks in which a person could prove himself - as a talented and efficient worker, or as a complete degenerate lazy bum. Get people to plan their own directions for development and control their progress along this path. Do not accumulate ballast in the form of muddy passengers - so that the business does not stall, but goes uphill, you need people-motors.

P.S. Are there any superheroes who will be on the side of the owner and will be able to influence the business positively? nine0156

Yes! At least one

11. Vector Man

The antipode, the exact opposite of the Checklist Man - the Vector Man. Such an employee is worth its weight in gold, and this is exactly what you need to strive for, nurturing and educating personnel in your structure.

If the Checklist Man is ready to take responsibility only for the tasks formulated “from and to”, without even presenting them in the format of a single whole, then the Vector Man works with goals. He sets tasks for himself, he solves the difficulties that have arisen, and even performing one operation in a long technological chain of processes, he clearly understands WHAT and FOR WHAT he is doing. Such an employee can be given a direction - a vector - and he will move towards the goal without getting you additional questions, clarifications and excuses. nine0003

How to motivate such a person so that he does not burn out? He must have a dual motivation. Not only constant growth in terms of money (yes, at some point he will have to offer a share in the profits and nothing else - there is no eternal increase in a fixed salary in nature!). A good, efficient, thinking employee constantly needs new interesting tasks. Which you, as a boss, should throw at him. There will be no constant interesting growth and development - such a person will even stop enjoying money and gradually stop in development, turning into one of the types described in the previous paragraphs. nine0003

The most important thing: the boss should never relax and think that thanks to your "genius", who arranged everything right once, people will be with you until retirement and at the same time will be able to work like a Human Vector. You can't enter the comfort zone, you have to constantly plow and think about how to force your people to develop and how to prevent them from degrading.

Conflict behavior of employees or how to resolve conflicts at work

Everything you need to know about conflict situations at work. Useful article about conflict resolution with your employees. nine0003

Everyone experiences conflict at work. Sometimes healthy conflict is beneficial, leads to discussions and opens up new ways to solve problems. But there are situations when conflicts negatively affect productivity and engagement, which in general reflects badly on the work of the team and the effectiveness of the entire company.

In this article we will deal with the topic of conflict behavior and tell you how to behave in a conflict situation.

What is conflict behavior

Conflict is a clash between people due to differences in views, interests, goals, perceptions that occurs in the process of social interaction. Simply put, a situation where several people or groups have different views and cannot reach an agreement.

Conflict behavior is a manifestation in emotions, conversation and actions of a negative reaction to a conflict situation. This behavior is the result of conflict.

Conflicts do not arise out of the blue; from the root causes to resolution, they go through as many as 5 phases:

  1. The prelude to conflict includes all the factors that can cause conflict. Lack of understanding, differences in interests, culture, religion, education - all this contributes to the emergence of conflict.
  2. Trigger event. Conflict does not arise by itself. There must be an event that provokes it.
  3. The initiation phase is actually the period when the conflict has already begun. Stubborn opinions, verbal disagreements are all warning signs that a conflict has already begun. nine0190
  4. The phase of differentiation begins when people express their grievances to each other and show dissatisfaction. At this stage, the causes of the conflict are raised.
  5. Resolution phase. People should try to compromise and resolve the conflict. At this stage, various options for resolving the conflict are considered.

Causes of conflict behavior

  • Difference of opinion. It is a conflict between the ability to narrow down the number of possible solutions to a problem through the application of logic and knowledge, and thinking outward. nine0190
  • State. This is a situation where the wrong person is promoted.
  • Inconsistency. The employee is obliged to engage in activities that do not meet his needs or interests.
  • Incompatible. Someone adheres to goals and views that do not correspond to the worldview of another and exclude the satisfaction of his professional needs and desires.
  • Economy. Insufficient remuneration of employees. nine0190
  • Stress. Conflicts from stress from external sources.
  • Poor or inadequate organizational structure and lack of teamwork.
  • Power. Often a conflict for power happens when several people apply for a leadership position.
  • Weak leadership. Conflict is inevitable if someone leads a more qualified and experienced worker.
  • Arbitrary interpretation and application of rules and policies. The lack of transparency and openness causes dissatisfaction among employees. nine0190

Why it is important to be able to resolve conflicts in the workplace

Conflicts in the workplace have a negative impact on relationships in the team, productivity, take away time and energy that can be spent on more important things.

If employees are involved in a conflict, they tend to lose concentration and are poorly focused on work. They put all their energy into fighting each other, and as a result, the goals of the organization remain out of focus.

Conflicts also lead to disrespect and unnecessary tension in the team. When employees talk badly about each other, it disrupts the positive atmosphere within the organization and prevents everyone from working. nine0003

Regardless of the types of conflicts in the workplace, ignoring them and hoping they disappear can be costly for a company.

Consequences of workplace conflicts for leaders:

  • Time spent listening to people's complaints
  • Loss of productivity as people spend more time worrying about conflict than organizational goals
  • Absenteeism
  • Employee turnover If you involved in a conflict, you are more likely to feel dissatisfied, frustrated, and resentful. Unfortunately, as a rule, most people are not able to leave these feelings at work, therefore, relatives also suffer from conflict situations. nine0003

    In any business, there will be employees who don't get along from time to time. Due to differences in their personalities, lifestyles, opinions, or some other factors, sometimes employees simply cannot work as a team. And when there is disagreement in the workplace, it affects everyone.

    Constructive conflict resolution between employees can lead to healthy competition, process improvement, innovation and increased creativity.

    Types of conflicts

    Dependency conflicts

    These types of conflicts occur when the work of one employee depends on the work of another. For example, if a salesperson is always late in entering monthly sales data, the accountant is late in reporting.

    Interdependence conflicts can be easily overcome if:

    • Employees are good at delegating skills
    • Can handle complex negotiations and negotiate
    • Deadline misses come with consequences

    Worker-based conflicts based on interdependence. Simply put, employees fight not because they don't share some of each other's ideas, but because one lets the other down. nine0003

    Different approaches

    Such conflicts often occur because employees see different ways of achieving the goal. For example, one employee wants to get the job done quickly (task-oriented) and move on to the next task as quickly as possible. While the other cares more about tailoring the product to the client and taking into account his opinion in the process (people-oriented).

    Different approaches to accomplishing tasks can be beneficial for the team, so it is important to find compromises and use disagreements to your advantage, not to your detriment. nine0003

    Different styles of management

    Leaders lead their teams in different ways. Team members who have to deal with different leaders throughout the day can become confused and annoyed by the different ways of leadership. For example, one leader may be more open, while another is strict and requires tight chain of command.

    To avoid this kind of conflict, make sure that the leaders of the company have the same values ​​and views on basic management issues. Leaders must be consistent in their decisions, respect subordinates and remain human. A domineering leader can reduce employee engagement and satisfaction. nine0003

    Personal conflicts

    Personal conflicts are the main cause of conflicts in the workplace. These types of conflicts arise from emotions and ideas about someone's motives and character. For example, a team leader criticizes someone for being late because they think the team member is lazy and disrespectful. A team member sees the team leader as unfair and biased.

    One can cope with personal conflicts only by looking at the situation from a different angle, from another participant in the conflict. Most people in such situations shift the responsibility to others, but do not see that they themselves are partly to blame. In personal conflicts, most often, both sides are unfair to each other. nine0003

    Conflict Work Test
    1. Think about the conflict you currently have. Take a piece of paper and draw a line in the middle.
    2. In one column, write down everything you don't like. All feelings, thoughts, judgments, labels, conclusions that come to mind.
    3. In another column, write down all the real facts. Facts are observable, objective, concrete actions and information.
    4. Then write down how your reactions or actions may have affected the situation. nine0190

    To distinguish between facts and personal opinions, use a simple example: blue sky is a fact, beautifully colored sky is a personal opinion.

    Looking through the list, you may find that your claims are not supported by the facts. That you have made many assumptions and interpretations about what the other person's behavior might mean, but not the fact of what it means. This exercise is designed to become more objective in the current situation.

    Conflict styles

    In order to understand how to resolve a particular conflict, you need to have an understanding of conflict styles.

    • Competition is a style in which one's own needs are placed above the needs of others. It relies on an aggressive communication style. Those who use the competitive style tend to control the discussion. They fear that losing control will lead to decisions that do not meet their needs. Competition, as a rule, leads to retaliatory measures, aggravation of the situation and an increase in tension in the team. nine0190
    • Adjustment, also known as smoothing, is the opposite of the competition. People who use this style are inferior to others, trying to be diplomatic. They tend to let the desires of the group override their own, which are rarely brought up for discussion at all, since maintaining the relationship is a priority.
    • Avoidance is a common reaction to negative attitudes towards conflicts in general. People who avoid conflict think that if they don't bring up the subject, things will settle down on their own. But, as a rule, feelings are held back, opinions remain unexpressed, and the conflict grows until it can no longer be ignored. Due to the fact that the claims remain unexpressed, and the relationship inevitably deteriorates, the other side often does not even understand what happened. nine0190
    • Compromise is an approach to conflict in which people discuss their desires and negotiate. While compromise is the best solution, it is usually not satisfying. Each side is still true to its views and does not always understand the other side well enough.
    • Collaboration is a combination of individual needs and goals to achieve a common goal. Often referred to as win-win problem solving, collaboration requires communication in order to reach an optimal solution. Collaboration provides an opportunity to reach consensus, integrate needs, and potentially exceed the opportunity budget that conflict has previously limited. nine0190

    Understanding each style and its consequences is more likely to resolve the conflict in the most appropriate way:

    • If a competing style is used, it is possible to force others to make a “convenient” decision, but this acceptance may be accompanied by dissatisfaction.
    • If we adapt, relationships can be good, but the frustration remains that our opinion is not considered.
    • If we compromise, then good relations will remain, but resentment may remain for a long time. nine0190
    • If we work together, we are more likely to be more confident that we will be able to work productively together and maintain good relationships.
    • And if the conflict is not discussed at all, both sides may remain in the dark about the real issues and problems, which is the worst option, because sooner or later the conflict will escalate.

    7 steps to conflict resolution

    Understand the nature of the conflict

    Don't make theories and guesses about the cause of the conflict. It is worth just talking about it and finding out the true reasons for the differences. nine0003

    A short list of questions to help you better understand the situation:

    • Are there other circumstances that could aggravate the conflict?
    • Are the working styles of the parties conflicting?
    • Does the atmosphere in the team increase the level of stress?
    • How heavy is the work load on both sides?
    • How about a difficult client?
    • Does someone spread rumors, which provokes the development of a conflict?

    Finding out the reasons that underlie disagreements is essential to successfully resolving the problem and preventing future conflicts.

    Encourage employees to figure things out for themselves

    You probably want your employees to be as independent as possible. After all, you are their leader, not a personal psychologist. Keep in mind that responding to every employee complaint can make things worse. It may even make some employees think that you are biased and that you are making someone stand out from the rest. nine0003

    Encouraging the team to solve problems on its own does not mean that leadership will not be required. If necessary, provide guidance or talking points to help each employee get through the situation with minimal emotional cost. Do not solve the problem for the employees, just help start the discussion.

    How to encourage employees to have a constructive conversation about their differences:

    • Determine if the situation is emotionally charged and how serious it is. nine0190
    • Once you have assessed the problem, speak to each employee individually, if necessary, to let them know that you are aware of the situation.
    • Encourage open communication among the employees involved. Ask them if they feel comfortable talking to another employee and having one-on-one conversations with them.

    Conflict resolution does not have to end with an agreement. Sometimes it's better to agree to disagree, but with respect. When this happens, employees must recognize that they have different views or approaches and work together to find a solution for how to move forward. nine0003

    Respond quickly

    Unfortunately, some situations cannot be resolved without the participation of a manager or leader. If ignored, disputes between employees can negatively affect the entire team and even ruin the company's reputation. Other employees may be unintentionally drawn into the conflict. This may result in performance degradation.

    It should be made clear that conflict behavior is unacceptable and disagreement should not interfere with work. nine0003

    Listen to both sides

    If you have to intervene, you should not take the situation as you have been told. First of all, it is necessary to personally listen to the opinion of both sides and, on the basis of this, decide how events can develop.

    Most employees want to be heard, so ask each person involved to explain their side of the story. Before deciding whether to meet with dissenting parties together or separately, try to assess the degree of hostility between them. Remember that you are here to discuss facts, not emotions. nine0003

    Whatever you do, don't take sides. This only makes things worse. You must be as objective as possible.

    For successful conflict resolution, it is important that your company train leaders and managers in dealing with conflict behavior. Poorly trained managers can make things worse, leading to employee layoffs and even increased employee turnover.

    Identify the real problem

    Often the real cause of an argument is hidden behind emotions. By the time the problem is brought to the attention of the manager, the quarreling employees may already have shifted to conflict behavior. nine0003

    To get beyond this emotional wall, ask each employee to articulate the problem calmly. Get to the bottom of the matter to find an effective solution that will help avoid such incidents.

    Find a solution

    Employees are not supposed to be best friends, they just have to do their job. Sometimes, the only way to effectively smooth things over is to reorganize teams and minimize contact between conflicting employees. It can also be helpful to give employees involved in the situation time to cool down before they work together again. nine0003

    Remember that the goals of the company come first and if the conflict continues, this can seriously affect productivity. One toxic employee can wreak havoc on the entire company, so don't hold on to him if he's getting in the way of the team.

    Set an example

    Building a culture of respect for each other and working well together is the best way to prevent conflict. By speaking honestly and respectfully with your employees, you create an environment that promotes honesty and communication.

    Learn more