• Clara Wajngurt

Recognizing Employees Who Exhibit Toxic Behavior

Updated: Feb 6, 2019



We have been talking about employees on your job who exhibit toxic behaviors-who have ingrained thoughts and patterns of thinking and feelings that contribute to destructive behaviors towards others on the job. They may react negatively in a very defensive and confrontational manner-if they perceive they are being criticized--or they may play the victim role-attacking others and complaining about others that they have been treated  unfairly, harassed or discriminated in some way.Sometimes these people lack social skills and are hypersensitive--overact with anger to a situation-express hostility easily-cannot manage stress well-and are quick to find fault in others.


What we need to do when dealing with colleagues who exhibit toxic behaviors--let your colleague know what behaviors you see from them that you value and appreciate. It will be important for you to stand firm so that such people are held accountable for what they say. You don't want to manage their frustration.Set boundaries and limits-which means you will need to set your own boundaries and limits for 'listening' to what they have to say. As you build a relationship with someone and increase your interactions with that person-you build more trust with the person and allow them to be close to you.When you draw limits-you are thinking about the extent to which you accept someone's behavior as acceptable-and you assume it is a respectable way of interacting with them.When you see your colleague as behaving in a way you don't expect-- you can assert yourself-by saying why are you speaking this way to me.


How do you approach colleagues who exhibit toxic behavior?


What if the colleague is your manager?


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