Would You Know If You’re a Toxic Colleague?
No one likes a toxic coworker. Even the most difficult people would probably be the first to agree. Which raises a question: If you were “toxic,” would you know it? Here are three reasons you might seem toxic, and strategies for changing your behavior if necessary:
- You seem cold. To turn up your warmth, make a conscious effort 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, focus on what other people are saying — your colleagues have a need to feel heard, just as you do.
- 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.
- 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.
. *Source: Adapted from Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip of the Day.