We have a small team and when we have a meeting, there is usually one person who is negative and complaining. Its uncomfortable and feels like a waste of my time. The manager doesn’t seem to know how to address it and I want to say something to change the structure, but not sure how.
Thank you for your question: The best way to address this issue is indirectly. Say the person is speaking of why an idea will not work for example. You should focus on the potential for success and the positive aspects of the conversation. You may say something like, “It would seem if we were to focus on what can be done and how and when to do it, we will realize our needed results quicker.” Another example, “I agree it may be challenging but the sooner we begin the sooner we can move on to other pressing matters.” In this way you steer the meeting back to the positive. Always focus your comments on the desired goals and team efforts and benefits. Never use I think or I want for example. That will open you up for criticism.