Throughout my years speaking on job stress, burnout and self-care, I often hear people say, “My co-worker really stresses me out, he’s a jerk!” or “I would love this job if it weren’t for my toxic coworkers” and on and on and on.
The feedback is that it’s not the job or expectations or even the boss that causes the most stress. It’s the negative, nasty co-worker who brings down the environment and creates a toxic workplace, and eventually if not addressed, causes the bright stars to quit the job leaving behind the ones who are burnt out and/or just plain miserable. (I hope this isn’t happening in your workplace!)
So a few years ago I created a new presentation – Working with Difficult People: How to Create Positive Relationships and Dispel Workplace Negativity – to give people the tools they needed to not only address the negative culture but improve their quality of life at work. It soon became one of my most popular presentations at all types of workplaces around New England.
In this presentation, I talk about the different types of toxic coworkers and how they might not be who you’d expect. We usually visualize an angry, volatile person, but a rotten apple comes in many forms. For example:
- The “nice person” who is constantly complaining or is a negative downer
- The Know-it-All who doesn’t take direction well
- The Queen Gossiper with no respect for boundaries
- The Control Freak who can’t delegate or trust you to do your job
- The Blamer who can’t take responsibility and throws people under the bus
- The Super Agreeable ones who are sugary sweet and kiss up
What I realized from speaking with so many employees is that quite often, no one knows how to deal with these toxic co-workers, especially the ones that fly under the radar.
Managers don’t have the tools to deal with Joe who’s always in a cranky mood so they keep their door shut. Coworkers don’t know how to initiate the conversation or set boundaries for themselves. And pretty soon, Joe’s bad mood infects everyone and the bright stars end up leaving for a more positive work environment.
But there ARE tools managers and coworkers can use to get through the awkward, uncomfortable, difficult conversations to make change and manage these situations so they don’t fester and take a major toll on the workplace, the moral, the productivity and the overall wellbeing of the environment.
After all, there’s a good chance you spend 40 hours at your job/week. And we want that to be in the best environment possible!
Work with difficult people and want to learn the tools to make your workplace the best environment possible? (After all you do spend 40 hours/week there!)
- I can come to your workplace to present the Working with Difficult People workshop. Email me!
- Or you can access this workshop ONLINE here for only $20. It’s the perfect self-care plan to help you cope with the negative experience and develop tools to manage it. Handouts included to help you bring the tools and information back to your workplace. (And want to make all your staff take this course, we can talk about a way to do that! Email me here.)