When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don’t wait
for the second time before you address it or cut them off. . . Shahida Arabi
Let’s be honest. We all know, or have worked with, toxic people who create workplace conflict. Toxicity covers a lot of territory; some examples include poor attitude, lack of commitment and accountability, taking credit for the work of others, whiners/complainers, finger pointing, intentionally misleading others, and having a closed mindset. (Any others come to mind?).
Author Dr. Travis Bradberry provides 12 ways to manage toxic people who create workplace conflict (excerpts are):
A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They may stop complaining to you!
Choose your battles
Stand your ground, pick the “right time” to address the conflict, and use your emotional intelligence skills to keep conversations healthy.
Don’t allow yourself to respond emotionally and get sucked in; remain fact based.
Stay aware of your emotions
Recognize when your buttons are being pushed. Take the time you need to regroup.
Decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, this allows you take control.
Don’t let anyone limit your joy
Emotionally intelligent people don’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take away their sense of accomplishment or “happy” feelings.
Don’t focus on problems—only solutions
Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and instead focus on how you’re going to go about handling them.
Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget.
Squash negative self-talk
Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating.
Limit your caffeine intake
Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and is the source of “fight-or-flight”.
Get some sleep
Sleep has a direct link with increasing emotional intelligence and managing stress.
Use your support system
Recognize the weaknesses in your approach with toxic people and tap into your support system to gain their perspectives.
What can you do to better manage toxic people who create workplace conflict?
Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles,
and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.― John Mark Green