How to respond to Negativity

In recent times it seems that anytime someone has a situation that does not go the way they want, the first thing some individuals do is blame the other person.  This type of negativity and frustration have a direct impact upon how someone feels about their self-worth and their role in the work force.

If you relate this to education – it is an educator’s job to appropriately challenge students so they develop skills and understand how to be successful when things are not easy. It is through the support and encouragement of educators, that students develop the needed skills of problem solving, how to think critically, working with others, develop resiliency and grit and respect the ideas of others that are different than their own. Yet despite this work, too often educators feel the negativity from outside influences through email, personal conversations etc…  So how do we respond to Negativity?

As an educator who has been on the receiving end of very difficult conversations with others……I have developed a mindset (that I must remind myself to use often) that allows me to embrace these opportunities and work with all parties involved and move forward in the best possible solution.  So what is included in this mindset that I use?  It includes an understanding that:

  • There are things outside of my control such as someone else’s actions, opinions, mistakes, feelings and words.
  • Things that I can control include my attitude, effort, behavior and actions in response to these situations.
  • When I communicate with an upset person, I try to remind myself to “listen before I act, reflect upon what they are saying, and try to understand the situation from their perspective”.
  • When others “go low” and use negativity, I should “go high”, be positive, and remain optimistic.

As an educator and someone who reflects frequently, I have grown the most from difficult situations and how I responded to it. There have been times, after reflecting, that I could have done a better job. However, there are other instances where my response allowed for a productive solution and grew everyone involved closer together and gain an appreciation for each other in regards to how we were helping the students.  As a leader, I think it is imperative to always try to make the best of our work…………..every hour, every day of our job.  I also believe that sometimes it is the simplest things that help us to respond to negativity….it is our attitude and remaining positive and kind with our actions.

In summary, during moments when things are not positive, I hope you use the right mindset to work with other people by remaining positive and take that opportunity to help others find a successful solution. How we work with others needs to have enthusiasm, positive actions and kindness for others. As a leader, I remind myself that I must:










I look forward to hearing from you about your thoughts related how do you respond to negativity.  Comment below or reach out to me at


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A Husband, Father and Principal with a focus on learning, leading and connecting with others.

An educator for 25 years with 14 of those being a building administrator. I have found that the more I learn form others and their experiences it helps me grow and learn as well. I hope you join our journey as we create learning environments for students and staff that create future success.

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