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Are they toxic, or just different?

7 November, 2019

I have worked in many different workplaces, in different roles and different countries.  And one thing always remains the same.  Trying to figure out why people behave the way they do is always a challenge.  I have also worked in a couple of workplaces where I consider one or two of my work colleagues to be toxic.  

So what’s the difference?

My experience of toxic people is that they humiliate their workmates in front of others, blame others for their mistakes, spread malicious gossip, form alliances that protect them and constantly undermine others - sometimes blatantly and sometimes more subtly.  It makes the workplace an awful place where people are always wary and on edge.

But that is far different from not understanding why the guy in accounts never comes to eat lunch with everyone or why the lady from recruitment seems to spend so much time flitting around the office chatting to people.  These things can be easily explained by taking a quick look at the different personality styles and what they mean.  It won’t explain everything, but it will give you a much better insight into what motivates people and what upsets them.  Which makes it much easier to work with them.  If you would like some more information about an online course that can help, please contact us.

If you are in the unfortunate position of working with someone toxic, not just different, check out the excellent book “Working With Monsters” by John Clarke.  And good luck.