The word ‘toxic’ can mean anyone who is a compulsive liar, manipulative, a gossip, or who is a sociopath or narcissist. Workplaces are somewhere that these sorts of people can thrive; however, if you are clever enough, there are things you can do to handle them and to prevent their toxicity spreading. Here we look at how you can deal with toxic people in the workplace.
Most people will have come across somebody in the workplace who could be considered toxic. One of the main ways to deal with toxic people in the workplace revolves around your own behaviour, while the other comes from who you choose to surround yourself with and the sort of behaviour that you consider acceptable.
People who exhibit signs of toxic behaviour do not want to take the blame when things go wrong, preferring to blame others. You should also try to be the person who looks for a solution to the problem, even if you were not the one who caused the problem in the first place. This is something a toxic person will very rarely do, as it would mean admitting they were wrong. Toxic people can be very manipulative.
This can include trying to control the emotions of others and being complimentary to others to gain some sort of advantage. As you are likely to be able to easily identify a toxic person, the best way to avoid this sort of manipulation is by not being taken in by compliments and empty gestures and by avoiding situations that may cause emotions to become out of control.
Manipulative behaviour can extend to playing games by telling lies, or refusing to give a straight answer to a question, or by not making intentions clear. Insisting on straight answers by using closed questions requiring a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer is one of the best ways to counteract this sort of behaviour.
The other main way to handle these sorts of people in the workplace is to avoid them; instead, surround yourself with people who are non-toxic. People who bully others or whose sole purpose is to seek attention should be avoided at all costs; likewise, those who exhibit traits of narcissism or who enjoy gossiping rather too much are best kept at arm’s length.
It is far better to surround yourself with a smaller group of people who you know are loyal and can be trusted. Not getting involved in workplace dramas or feuds means that you are less likely to adopt some of the traits exhibited by those you consider toxic.
Join Over 40,000 Recruiters. Get our latest articles weekly, all FREE – SEND ME ARTICLES
Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure