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What to Do About Toxic Co-Workers

October 25th, 2016
toxic coworkerFrom the Harvard Business Review to You Tube it seems the issue of toxic co-workers is being discussed everywhere. Last year, a research paper published by the Harvard Business School, found that "avoiding a toxic worker (or converting him to an average worker) enhances performance to a much greater extent than replacing an average worker with a superstar worker."

What do you do if you work with a toxic colleague?

The New York Times spoke with two relationship therapists who offered some tips for dealing with difficult people in the workplace:
  1. Identifying the problem is the first step. Figure out what it is about the situation that bothers you. Is it that the person talks badly about others? Complains constantly? Takes credit for everything?
  2. Confide in someone you trust. This is not to complain, but to get a reality check to see if it really is the other person. What role are you playing in the relationship?
  3. Take action. It may not be easy, but the therapists say calmly discussing the situation with your co-worker is where you start. “Approach them first, not in an adversarial way," says one. If that doesn't work, then avoidance may be an alternative.
  4. Take the high road. Another tactic is to remain positive even when they try to undermine you. Find something positive to say; highlight their accomplishments.

Image: Ambro/

Tags: advice

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