1. Listen intently
2. Try responding with, “I want to know more about that.”
3. If someone is complaining, down, or depressed; empathize before offering to solutions. Try saying something like, “that’s really crummy, I’m sorry that happened.” Don’t feed someone’s negativity. However, it’s important to acknowledge their feelings as real and important.
4. Ask, “is there anything I can do to help?”
5. Talk less about the traffic or weather. If you’re pulled into such discussions, change the subject. Nothing breeds more negativity this time of year than discussions about the weather or traffic.
If you’re working on these, which ones could you improve upon today?