Leadership Tip

How to know if you’re a toxic colleague

No one likes a toxic colleague. Even the most difficult people would probably be the first to agree. Which raises a question: If you were “toxic,” would you even know it? Here are three reasons you might seem toxic, and strategies for changing your behaviour if necessary:

  1. You seem cold. To turn up your warmth quotient, make a conscious attempt to pay attention to other people. Make eye contact and hold it, both when you’re speaking and when you’re listening. And above all else, actually focus on what other people are saying - your colleagues have a need to feel heard, just as you do.
     
  2. You seem selfish. How much time do you spend really thinking about your colleagues? About their perspectives? Be curious, and ask questions to learn more about the coworkers you don’t know well. Show empathy.
     
  3. People think of you as a stickler for the rules. Make a point of being more flexible about rules, particularly those that are neither unethical nor illegal to break. When you have to stick to the rules, explain your thinking and why doing so is good for your team.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted Signs You Might Be a Toxic Colleague by Heidi Grant Halvorson. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

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