Irritable Frown Syndrome? – Meet the Grey Cloud!

This week the Magnificent Chameleon has been exploring the mysterious world of The Grey Cloud and has some advice about how to vanquish them.

What does the Grey Cloud do?

Rather like the ‘Dementors’ in the Harry Potter books, the Grey Cloud has the ability to suck the life and vitality out of the people that it comes into contact with.

How can you tell if The Grey Cloud is active in your organisation?

As soon as the Grey Cloud enters a room the tone and mood of the conversation quickly alters from one of optimism and ideas to complaints and apathy. Their influence can be strong and smiles turn to worried looks as the people effected by the cloud start to feel themselves sinking into hopelessness.

You might also find that the Grey Cloud also operates under his alias ‘The Mood Hoover’ ready to suck the life out of anyone that he comes into contact with, quickly turning a sunny mood into a grey one.

Here’s what you’ll notice:

Ideas and suggestions start to dry up

Every positive is crushed by a negative response

Optimism is replaced by cynicism and negativity

People trying to move away from the Grey Cloud but sometimes getting sucked into its influence

And this is what you’ll hear:

“We’ve already tried that and it didn’t work”

“Nothing ever goes right around here”

“I’m not even going to bother”

The Grey Cloud will sometimes lay the ‘cynicism’ trap to ensnare individuals or whole teams. This acts quickly and negatively affects the energy and enthusiasm that the team naturally hold. Things start to seem too difficult to tackle and momentum dries up, leaving people stuck.

Once you’ve identified The Grey Cloud is at large, how do you stop their villainous ways?

Here are 6 tactics you could try……

1. Strengthen yourself against the Grey Cloud by spotting their approach and actively working against them to counter their negative effects. Once you have recognised that the Grey Cloud is operating, you can focus on positive action and deflect its effects.

2. Weaken The Grey Cloud by asking specific questions that open up their thinking and help them to see things from a completely different perspective and point of view.

3. Face up to The Grey Cloud and say that you don’t agree with them. Give them real examples that counter what they are saying.

4. Move away from The Grey Cloud and choose to spend time where The Grey Cloud isn’t. Misery loves company. If The Grey Cloud doesn’t have an audience to feed off, they are weakened and their effects minimised.

5. Remember that The Grey Cloud can be vanquished by sheer weight of numbers. The more positive and resilient you can be as a group, the less influence The Grey Cloud will have.

6. Be impervious to their negativity. Adopt a positive outlook and demeanour to deflect any negative vibes – like an invisible but powerful shield of positivity.

These are just a few of the ways that you can help to vanquish The Grey Cloud in your workplace and we know that there are many, many more.

We’d love you to share your experiences and join in the conversation by hopping over to our Pants People Group on Linked In; we’d love you to work with us to help organisations banish these villains once and for all……go on, grab your mask and cape and be a superhero!


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