Mood hoovers are killing your resilience

Apparently, one of the biggest challenges to our resilience is our co-workers!

If you’re surrounded by mood hoovers, drama kings or queens or whiners and whingers you are quite likely to be feeling short of resilience right now. 

As you can see from the graph above a UK study indicated that ‘managing difficult relationships/politics in the workplace’ is shown as the biggest drain on resilience at work.

Similarly, a recent USA Today study revealed that:

  • 78% of employees reported that they waste at least three to six hours per week listening to the complaining of co-workers.
  • 11% of employees reported actually having left a job due to a toxic environment that was created by a co-worker.
  • 73% of employees said they would turn down a $10,000 raise if it meant they would have to work directly with a whiner, complainer or someone who saps their energy.


Mood hoovers should not be tolerated in organisations. In too many cases people work around them and have done so for years.

So here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, seek to understand (there may be a good reason why they’re in mood hoover mode so it’s important to understand their perspective);
  2. Help them focus on what they can influence or change and not what they can’t (call them out if they’re blaming others for everything);
  3. Let them understand the impact they are having and what specifically needs to change – this is not the time for vagueness. Be crystal clear, here;
  4. If they are not willing to change then move them on or out (but don’t just move them on so someone else has to deal with them!)

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