034 Leaders Need to Deal With the Toxic People in the Office

Pollution, dumping of garbageHaving covered the problems with stress in the office, Bob and Alex talk abut the toxic behavior that some people bring to the workplace.  Alex suggests that we need strategies to not let them effect your motivation and to go to work happy.

The constant complainer is a very common example of this.Bob suggests that being a positivist helps.  A positivist is someone who is enthusiastic and goes out of their way to tell others you value their contributions and help others fit in.  The complainer is at the other end of the spectrum.  When they are constantly complaining, they want validation from you that their feelings are grounded in misery and rightly so.  A positivist may want to support them in an effort to help them pull out of it, but you can be seen as being similar to them and as a colleague of complaint with them.

A second type of toxic person is the BFF who has trouble recognizing appropriate boundaries.  You may welcome their out ward friendship when you are at the first day on the job and feel they are being very supportive. As time goes on though, they having frequent conversations about non-work issues, wanting to spend time together outside of work, more than the occasional happy hour.  It ends up being up to you set the boundaries.

Finally, there is the issue of bullying on the workplace. Alex says that those with big personalities seem to feel they can steamroll a new employee or a younger employee.  Recent research from this year says that 65% of workers dread going to work because of a co-worker.  55% says that they have indeed been bullied by a co-worker.  Bob suggests that unmet needs are often at the root of this kind of behavior.  To recover from this, it is important to step back and draw a breath.  You may have to go to your manager if you need to, but always try to respond from the point of view of a business case rather than an emotional one.  Granted that at some point it becomes impossible to keep it from being emotional, and at that time you will need to go to your manager, or to his manager if he is part of the problem.

Robin Madell's article on Toxic People at Work.



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