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Surviving the Toxic Workplace

January 23, 2017

 

Unfortunately, the toxic workplace is a reality many of us find ourselves in today.  Many corporations have been so hyper focused on the bottom line and the "appearance" of profitability to investors, that they began to treat the human resource as a replaceable commodity that can be depleted, wrung out, and replaced.

 

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Living in a toxic workplace looks a little different for each person, however, the underlying component of abusing employees remains the same.  it actually does have a lot of similarities to an abusive relationship.  Abusive relationships don't have to be physically abusive.  In fact, verbally abusive relationships often do a lot more damage.

 

If you find yourself in a verbally abusive or toxic work environment, there are a few things you can do to keep your head above water...

 

1.  Create your own agenda.  Don't be ruled by someone else's agenda.  Have your own.  You may be a pawn in their game but don't let it rule you.  Have your own agenda, your own end game, your own focus.  This will help you keep your head on straight and focused on what's important to you.  I read somewhere once that Henry Ford once advised, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

 

2.  Develop relationships.  Often in toxic relationships, you are led to believe you are in this alone - that everyone else is part of the matrix and you are the only one aware of the truth and manipulation that is going on.  I want you to consider that that sense of being alone is another manipulated fallacy that you have been led to believe.  Chances are, if you had an honest conversation with your colleagues, you might find they feel the same way you do and they are aware of the situation just as you are.  Consider that your colleagues are just trying to survive.  If you create a comradery with your colleagues, it will help you all remember the truth about the situation and it will be that much harder for the toxic dictator to turn you against each other and make you feel isolated and alone.

 

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3.  Help the wounded.  If you are feeling like you are being attacked from every direction, knives piercing you in the back, and busses running over you every time to try to move forward... If you are feeling this way, chances are others are feeling this way as well.  Try countering the toxicity in the air by showing gratitude and appreciation for those around you.  You may be the one ray of positivity in someone else's world.  I know, it's hard to be gracious to those you perceive are throwing you under the bus, but consider this is their survival mode and you are going to have those knives in your back regardless - you might as well stand tall and laugh about it.  It might be the only thing that keeps you sane.  Remember, you are not kind to others because you expect anything in return, but simply because you are a kind person.  Be that.

 

THE QUESTION I LEAVE YOU WITH TODAY IS, UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU THINK IT'S BEST TO CONFRONT A TOXIC LEADER AND WHEN IS IT BEST TO JUST PLAY THE GAME?

 

 

 

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