Are There “Toxic” People in Your Company?

    How to Deal with Gossip, Envy, Intolerance, and Lack of Respect

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    Gossip, envy, intolerance, and disrespect are attitudes that make the work environment becomes tense and directly affects the performance of the company. But what is the best thing that can be done in these cases?

    Ideally, the leader of the organization is the one who detects colleagues who are causing problems in the office.

    Gossip among employees
    Gossip among employees

    According to Miguel López, director of Franklin Covey Costa Rica, it is necessary for top management to prioritize these people who become harmful and manage the change so that frank communication is promoted. “Generally these people are very audacious and know how to deal with their supervisors and play with the times, the interpretations, and the victimization in all the circumstances”, Lopez explained.

    Bosses are advised to be polite, avoid looking for confrontation, achieve a conversation that is limited to labor issues, not follow the harmful rhythm of their comments and seek clarity in messages to avoid gossip. “It is often the case that by taking a long time in the same position, these people do not consider themselves to have significant challenges and subject the rest to their negative thoughts”, he added.

    As part of the improvement plan, it must be conducted a competency assessment:

    Identifying them

    Ana Gabriela Chaverri, the manager of Manpower Costa Rica, said that within an organization people can be grouped according to their attitude and performance.

    The 1st group consists of collaborators with good performance who feel identified with the company. There is a 2nd group formed by workers who have a good performance, but who do not identify with the mission and vision of the company.

    Those who do not have a very stellar performance, but who do feel aligned with the company, make up another group.

    Finally, there are those negative contributors. Those who do not have good performance nor, to make matters worse, identify with the company.

    These latter are people who are always dissatisfied, and often have a bad attitude to carry out their duties. In addition, they break all communication channels, seek intrigue, do not follow rules of coexistence nor seek to solve conflicts but to enlarge them and create chaos.

    These toxic people generate a negative environment, so it is important to identify them, said the neuro coach Mauricio Bock.

    Lack of understanding
    Lack of understanding

    The neuro coach divided the “toxic people” into the following categories:

    The intimidating ones. They tend to be aggressive with their language and are complemented by threats.

    Those who complain about everything. Whether good or bad, they will always complain about the results of others. They do not recognize the contributions. They can be confused with the demanding ones, the difference is that they do not form nor contribute to positive elements.

    Those who seek guilty ones. They never mistake, that is to say, the fault is always on the others. They tend to behave like victims and cannot find what they can improve as a person.

    The envious ones. They feel worthy of all the benefits and maliciously envy others, discrediting the merits of others.

    The authoritarians. They do not allow that their workmates participate with ideas. They are those that must have the control of everything. They do not know how to delegate duties, so they do not inspire. They demand results without explaining how to do it.

    Search for Solutions.
    Search for Solutions.

    Finding solutions

    The specialists offered different recommendations to confront the “toxic” people and counteract the negative effects that could be caused to their company.

    As a starting point, the idea is to make improvement plans through coaching or counseling. Also, show your collaborators what the values of the company they work for and what is expected of them.

    The institutional communication networks are ideal for sending clear messages. You can use meetings to distribute information and review the disagreements of your collaborators.

    Another option is to carry out teamwork workshops, in order to develop leadership and conflict resolution among colleagues. With the results of the workshops, you can invite action and commitment to change to seek welfare for all. As part of the improvement plan, conduct a competency assessment.

    Finally, it is important that there must be a clear and operational code of ethics with regard to the desirable or undesirable behaviors in your company, so that it can denounce whatever goes against the rightful principles established.

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