How to Handle A Toxic Coworkers?Rajesh Shethia
No two persons are the same. Even at the workplace, you will meet different kinds of people – some interesting, while some you may not like. Your degree of dislike may increase tenfold when you discover that they have some undesirable or even annoying habits which are generally condemned at the workplace, like, gossiping colleagues, behaviour displaying aggression or non-cooperation, harassment, and so on. While you may take legal actions against some of them, you cannot seek legal assistance against some other. Hence, such people are termed, toxic workers. The research concludes that toxic coworkers are one of the many reasons why people quit their jobs.
When you are spending 8 to 9 hours at work, it is healthier to find out ways of tackling colleagues smartly rather than quitting. You have a high chance of finding such kind of coworkers everywhere because most of such toxic behaviour isn’t and cannot be supervised by law, but only norms, which are easier to not abide by. Positive strategies will enhance the office environment, and it may contribute to your leadership skills too.
Find out a few strategies to handle Toxic coworkers, people or workers.
Strategy #1: Avoid Office Gossip
The ‘He said she said’ nonsense is a sign of low-esteem. Your colleague may elicit your response passively or even aggressively. Unfortunately, gossiping is unhealthy for your mind and may end up in bringing disrepute. A simple trick: empathise and divert the topic. Validating your colleague’s statement assures him of being heard. Mirror their feelings/expressions but do not add anything new to the conversation. Change the tone to positive or recommend a solution.
Strategy #2: Dealing with a Pessimist
“I’m very busy.” Colleagues giving this answer are negative in approach. Workaholics have an unhealthy approach, and thus you should not foster such thoughts in your mind. Maintain a work-life balance to prevent a work culture obsessed with productivity. You must always encourage creative brainstorming to solve complex business problems.
Strategy #3: The Comfy Coworker
Always keep away from colleagues who exhibit inappropriate demeanour – flirting remarks on age, gender, appearance etc. You should put your foot down and say NO to such nonsense. If you sense discomfort, say politely, “Excuse me! I have some work.” without encouraging inappropriate action for a long time. In case of a severe issue or offence, escalate it to your manager or the HR department.
However, when possible, you must exhibit a positive intent. Nobody is perfect. It is good to foster empathy and emotional strength to tackle any situation in the workplace. However, that does not mean you subject yourself to stress or be aversive to your organisation due to your colleagues’ misbehaviour.
You must ensure that each day at work should contribute to your productivity levels. A good day at work not only encourages you to give your 100% to the tasks assigned but also motivates you to come to work the following day. As an employee, exhibit organisational citizenship behaviour, which is extremely important for your workplace to flourish. Mere productivity in task completion/ execution is not useful for either party- you or your employer. Being a responsible, decent, altruistic worker who identifies with the value systems of the organisation and feels belonged to it is a win-win aspect for both you and your employer. It makes you an attractive employee and catalyses your career growth, whereas, it helps your employer build an attractive work culture that is also people-centric and not just task-centric.
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