Toxic Co-Workers

How Do You Deal With A Toxic Co-Worker

Let’s start with reality. We all are going to have to deal with toxic co-workers from time to time in our career.

I can’t say I was 100% successful with any of these strategies, but here is a step by step way to deal with a toxic co-worker:

  • Befriend your toxic co-worker. In other words, as painful as it may be, try and build a relationship of trust with your toxic co-worker. Sometimes people act out because they are alone. Having a friend makes anyone feel better. If this doesn’t work then I recommend…
  • Talking to your toxic co-worker about the problem. This is not easy to do, but factually, without emotion, explain to your toxic co-worker the issues you are having. Two key things here:
  • Don’t gang up on your toxic co-worker. This needs to be a one on one conversation. You will screw it up, and you will be at fault, if you bring more people into the mix.
  • Don’t expect your toxic co-worker to agree with your assessment of the situation. He/She is likely to disagree with you. Stay calm and don’t argue back. Sometimes a little time may do the trick. If none of the above works, then I recommend…
  • Talk to your manager. Your manager is likely aware of the issue with the toxic employee. Talk factually about what the toxic employee is doing and the effect it is having on morale. Your manager will hopefully discretely investigate the situation, so you need to give your manager some time. If this doesn’t work then I recommend…
  • Decide whether you can live with the toxicity. Just deal with it if the answer is yes. It will not get any better, and you need to stop complaining about the problem. If you decide the answer is no, you can’t deal with the toxicity, then I recommend…
  • Transfer out of the division or find another job at another company. The only surefire solution that will work is, unfortunately, leaving the company. I know it is unfair, but you don’t really have a choice?

Once you get your toxic co-worker fixed or out of your life, you will feel the weight of the world off your shoulders.

Brett J Fox




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