Boundaries with Toxic Co-workers

Boundaries with Toxic Co-workers

Published By: Reshmma Gulati
Published On: 25 Jul 2023 01:31:00 AM

Boundaries with Toxic Co-workers

No matter where you work, you’re bound to come across a few difficult co-workers. It only takes One toxic worker to wreak havoc and negatively impact an entire workplace. And if you’re not careful, one individual could ruin your entire work experience and perhaps even damage your career. 

Toxic co-workers not only make work dreadful and unpleasant, but they harm the productivity and morale of everyone around them.

They create unnecessary drama, erode the culture, undermine the values of the company and destroy trust within the team.

The most common and destructive toxic behaviours we see include:

  • backstabbing, criticizing, and blaming
  • gossiping and spreading rumours
  • agreeing in meetings, but not following through afterwards
  • hoarding/distorting information
  • purposely undermining others
  • caring only about personal agendas (over team and company goals)

 Boundaries can help you from this whole drama in the workplace!

Here are some of the ways in which you can draw boundaries to protect yourself from Toxicity and unnecessary Drama:

  1. In a most logical manner, state what's acceptable and what's not. Clear and open communication is the key to setting healthy boundaries. 
  2. State your clear expectations with the team and also set the right expectations with your Boss and stakeholders. 
  3. Avoid gossip mongers. Remember when you rant about your boss, as a leader you are also showing that you are not having a good rapport with your Boss. Resist the temptation to complain! As a leader you need to have better control over your emotions and you need to demonstrate that to your team. Remember, your team mirrors you, if you rant about your boss they rant about you too, that's the culture you set with them. 
  4. Drama King/queen : Disengage your conversation with a person who thrives on drama. Don’t get sucked into the drama.  You see, since drama queens / king want to be the center of attention, the more you respond to their drama (“Oh my gosh, that really happened to you?”), the more you feed the beast. Instead, simply ignore or direct them towards seeking a solution.
  5. Focus your energies to control your reactions towards such people and do not get sucked into their vicious trap. Instead, assert firmly what is not acceptable to you in a polite manner.
  6. Step up your own game, focus on being better, not bitter. Set standards for your team by being the best at the workplace. Continue to get better and better.
  7. Say NO to what is not possible or acceptable for you. This means you have to drop the mask of a people pleaser.
  8. Keep your emotional quotient high, in order to deal with these challenges better and manage it smoothly. 

In my observation people are not bad, they operate from a space of threat, fear, insecurity, perceptions, or certain complexes and we can manage them better if we work with emotional intelligence and right Communication skills apart from boundaries.

About the Author

Reshmma Gulati

Women Leadership Development Coach

Specialized in Leadership Communication & Mindfulness

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