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Toxic People in the Workplace—Why They Are Toxic and
How to Deal With Them

Toxic people are everywhere in your life. They are the ones who make you feel uneasy for no particular reason. They are the those who gripe and complain about every little thing. They take little digs at you for no reason. They seem to have some criticism for everyone around them. They make conversations stop with their inappropriate comments and make everyone else uncomfortable.

Toxic People are the Bullies of the Workplace

Toxic people are the bullies of the business setting. They practice bullying tactics by talking down to others and “beating up” their colleagues’ ideas by voicing their opinions loudly and often. They make sure only their ideas are given a hearing. Many toxic people brag about themselves or find subtle ways to make themselves look better by putting others down. Many times they resort to picking on those who are weak. They try to manipulate every situation to their own advantage.

Who are these people and why do they act this way? My experience tells me that they have self-esteem issues. They secretly fear that if they don’t control a situation that they will end up losing. My experience has been that their intimidation tactics are designed to deflect attention from their work quality. Many fear that if they are closely scrutinized they won’t measure up.

Any time someone sets themselves up as “the expert” in a given situation, look closely to see if you are dealing with a toxic person. I have run across many toxic people in my years as a sales person and a consultant. I have found myself intimidated by them, even when I out-ranked them.

For example, when I was a Managing Director for the consulting firm, I was told to utilize a particular business development manager to penetrate a large company in my district. They said that he had extensive relationships within this company and to let him make the initial contacts. I didn’t particularly like this person and didn’t like that he was located 3,000 miles away. He was a bombastic know-it-all who tried to intimidate me at every turn. I recognized him for the bully he was and started looking for politically acceptable ways to go around him. I started contacting upper level managers at this company that he didn’t know. I soon found out that he had exaggerated his relationships with those he supposedly knew. As time went on and I started to build my own relationships with the client it became apparent (even to him) that his help was not needed. This is one method of dealing with the bully—to knock the pegs out from under them by gaining knowledge of the situation.

Toxic People Can Damage the Team

Toxic people are terrible team players and have the power to bring down any project if they are left alone to do their damage. Many will try to arrange to be in a power position. Never let a toxic person lead a team—to do so means that other team members will withdraw and all team directives will be from the toxic person. Ideas from other team members will be suppressed.

Sometimes toxic people can rise to high levels within an organization because people are intimidated by them and because upper management refuses to acknowledge the situation and to deal with it. This is a mistake as dealing with a toxic person expends a lot of the organization’s energy. The team’s synergy will be lost if the situation is allowed to continue. A motivational leader will recognize the situation and start working with the toxic person to deal with their social issues and to improve their performance. You can contact me here.

Have you had to deal with a toxic person?

How did you handle it? Please share your ideas about this topic.

Click below for more articles related to leadership and the workplace:

Employee Motivation Ideas to Energize your Team

Employee Motivation Comes When Employees Feel at Home

Seven Employee Motivation Techniques that will have your Workplace Singing

Motivating Employees –Three Simple Ways to Become a Great Leader

Creative Problem Solving is Essential to Leadership 

Positive Thinking can Change 
Your Life Overnight

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About the Author of this Website

My name is Carolyn Jolly. My professional life has been in sales, marketing and IT management. Along the way I’ve been studying and experimenting with self improvement and personal development techniques for the past 20 years. I have had more than a few mind-blowing experiences and I’ve made some discoveries that have shaped my ideas. I’m now using this website to pass those ideas along.

Our world is changing very rapidly. Many of the constants and institutions we thought to be permanent are now crumbling or changing drastically. This website is dedicated to those interested in how to manage their lives in light of these changes or in just becoming a better person. I hope the information you find here will stimulate you to embark on your own voyage of motivation and self improvement.

I hope that you will find something here that interests you. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me here.

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