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The 5 People You
Meet in a Toxic
Work Environment
Presented by: Rich Harrison & Meghan Hatalla
“The culture of any
organiz...
We are surrounded by
toxic people at work.
This is why you need
to care...
Toxic work environment
1. Major Communication Problems
2. Inconsistency in following policies
3. Narcissistic leaders
4. S...
“[Those] who experience
psychological stress at work face
twice the risk of cardiovascular
disease.”
Helmholtz Zentrum Mue...
Survey: 14,000 CEOs,
managers, and employees
“Employees subjected to
incivility ‘markedly
loosened bonds with
their work l...
Incivility: 96% of
American workers have
experienced it
(99% have witnessed it)
….intentionally decrease
the quality of their work
...take their frustrations
out on customers
50% decrease work effort,
intentionally spend less time at work
left their jobs due to
uncivil treatment
12%
Gaslighting: a form of
mental abuse in which a
victim is manipulated into
doubting his or her own
memory, perception and
s...
The Cost of Avoidance
★ Reduced Productivity
★ Reduced Creativity
★ Damaged Relationships
★ Broken Trust
★ Attrition
Sociopath vs. Petty Tyrant
The Sociopath
“One out of every 25 human beings has no
conscience, no sense of right or wrong, no
empathy, no ability to u...
Managing Sociopaths
★ Be honest with yourself: do not make
excuses for them
★ Do not trust them
★ Do not expect them to ch...
The Petty Tyrant
“...a tormentor, someone who either holds
the power of life and death over warriors, or
simply annoys the...
Managing Petty Tyrants
★ React with kindness (they are in pain)
★ Do not take actions personally
★ Try humor (lighten the ...
SAD PANDA
Characteristics
★ Chronic Downer
★ Won’t Stand Up
★ Avoids Work
SAD PANDA
Solutions
★ Workarounds
★ Stay Positive!
★ Recognition
Characteristics
★ Chronic Downer
★ Won’t Stand Up
★ Avoid...
GRINCH
Characteristics
★ Agent of Chaos
★ Passive-Aggressive
★ Eccentric
GRINCH
GRINCH
Solutions
★ Pragmatic
Relationship
★ Professional
Boundaries
GRINCH
Characteristics
★ Agent of Chaos
★ Passive-Aggr...
Characteristics
★ Negative Bonding
★ Peter Principle
★ RIP (Retired in Place)
PIED PIPER
Characteristics
★ Negative Bonding
★ Peter Principle
★ RIP (Retired in Place)
Solutions
★ Don’t Join In
★ Protect Pride
★ ...
Characteristics
★ Ladder Climber
★ Narcissistic
★ Machiavellian
WUNDERKIND
WUNDERKIND
Characteristics
★ Ladder Climber
★ Narcissistic
★ Machiavellian
Solutions
★ Recognize YOUR power
★ Don’t be Man...
Characteristics
★ Status Seeker
★ Railroads Decisions
★ Elevate themselves
★ Otherworldly
SHADOWY FIGURE
Characteristics
★ Status Seeker
★ Railroads Decisions
★ Elevate themselves
★ Otherworldly
SHADOWY FIGURE
Solutions
★ Sell ...
Recap: Recognize the Signs
★ Repetitive complaining
without offering solutions
★ Making everything about
them
Recap: Recognize the Signs
★ Not taking personal
responsibility when things
go wrong
★ Always in conflict with
someone else
Recap: Strategies for Success
★ Find humor: What are some
ways you can turn a serious
situation into a funny one?
★ Petty ...
Recap: Strategies for Success
★ If you have to walk away,
take the highroad out
★ Have compassion, but don't
enable
★ Redi...
Recap: Strategies for Success
★ Keep interactions short and
to the point
★ Try not to show emotion or
share personal detai...
Recap: Strategies for Success
★ Allow uncomfortable
moments of silence
★ Let the situation dissipate,
lose energy
Find and observe
people who always
seem to avoid
drama; ask them
how they do it
Dr. Merideth
Ferguson
You Can't Leave It
at the Office:
Fallout from Toxic
Workplace
Environments
Define your threshold.
(and mean it)
Thanks!
Rich Harrison & Meghan Hatalla
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The 5 people you meet in a toxic work environment

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Most of us don't get to pick our coworkers anymore than we get to pick our family. Here's how to deal with the ones you wouldn't pick--

- Sad Panda
- Boy Wonder
- The Grinch
- Pied Piper
- Shadowy Board Room Villain

--and how to stop them from interfering with your good work and good vibes.

Published in: Career
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The 5 people you meet in a toxic work environment

  1. 1. The 5 People You Meet in a Toxic Work Environment Presented by: Rich Harrison & Meghan Hatalla “The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.” Gruenter & Whitaker
  2. 2. We are surrounded by toxic people at work. This is why you need to care...
  3. 3. Toxic work environment 1. Major Communication Problems 2. Inconsistency in following policies 3. Narcissistic leaders 4. Seething disgruntlement 5. Physical and emotional health effects Source: Entrepreneur
  4. 4. “[Those] who experience psychological stress at work face twice the risk of cardiovascular disease.” Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen - German Research Centre for Environmental Health
  5. 5. Survey: 14,000 CEOs, managers, and employees “Employees subjected to incivility ‘markedly loosened bonds with their work life.’” Porath and Pearson - Georgetown and Arizona State Universities
  6. 6. Incivility: 96% of American workers have experienced it (99% have witnessed it)
  7. 7. ….intentionally decrease the quality of their work
  8. 8. ...take their frustrations out on customers
  9. 9. 50% decrease work effort, intentionally spend less time at work
  10. 10. left their jobs due to uncivil treatment 12%
  11. 11. Gaslighting: a form of mental abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting his or her own memory, perception and sanity.
  12. 12. The Cost of Avoidance ★ Reduced Productivity ★ Reduced Creativity ★ Damaged Relationships ★ Broken Trust ★ Attrition
  13. 13. Sociopath vs. Petty Tyrant
  14. 14. The Sociopath “One out of every 25 human beings has no conscience, no sense of right or wrong, no empathy, no ability to understand emotion–no soul. Worse, while they can mimic emotion, they see other humans as mere pawns or saps...” Dr. Martha Stout - Harvard Medical School
  15. 15. Managing Sociopaths ★ Be honest with yourself: do not make excuses for them ★ Do not trust them ★ Do not expect them to change ★ “Talk powerfully with the truth” ★ Get help and help others cope ★ Know when to leave!
  16. 16. The Petty Tyrant “...a tormentor, someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors, or simply annoys them to distraction.” Carlos Castaneda - The Fire from Within (Pocket Books, 1991)
  17. 17. Managing Petty Tyrants ★ React with kindness (they are in pain) ★ Do not take actions personally ★ Try humor (lighten the mood) ★ "Be That Which Nothing Can Take Root In" ★ Offer feedback and encouragement ★ Learn from them; let them make you better
  18. 18. SAD PANDA Characteristics ★ Chronic Downer ★ Won’t Stand Up ★ Avoids Work
  19. 19. SAD PANDA Solutions ★ Workarounds ★ Stay Positive! ★ Recognition Characteristics ★ Chronic Downer ★ Won’t Stand Up ★ Avoids Work
  20. 20. GRINCH Characteristics ★ Agent of Chaos ★ Passive-Aggressive ★ Eccentric GRINCH
  21. 21. GRINCH Solutions ★ Pragmatic Relationship ★ Professional Boundaries GRINCH Characteristics ★ Agent of Chaos ★ Passive-Aggressive ★ Eccentric
  22. 22. Characteristics ★ Negative Bonding ★ Peter Principle ★ RIP (Retired in Place) PIED PIPER
  23. 23. Characteristics ★ Negative Bonding ★ Peter Principle ★ RIP (Retired in Place) Solutions ★ Don’t Join In ★ Protect Pride ★ Create Deterrents PIED PIPER
  24. 24. Characteristics ★ Ladder Climber ★ Narcissistic ★ Machiavellian WUNDERKIND
  25. 25. WUNDERKIND Characteristics ★ Ladder Climber ★ Narcissistic ★ Machiavellian Solutions ★ Recognize YOUR power ★ Don’t be Manipulated ★ Deliver!
  26. 26. Characteristics ★ Status Seeker ★ Railroads Decisions ★ Elevate themselves ★ Otherworldly SHADOWY FIGURE
  27. 27. Characteristics ★ Status Seeker ★ Railroads Decisions ★ Elevate themselves ★ Otherworldly SHADOWY FIGURE Solutions ★ Sell Your Ideas ★ Don’t be Intimidated ★ Concede Partial Credit
  28. 28. Recap: Recognize the Signs ★ Repetitive complaining without offering solutions ★ Making everything about them
  29. 29. Recap: Recognize the Signs ★ Not taking personal responsibility when things go wrong ★ Always in conflict with someone else
  30. 30. Recap: Strategies for Success ★ Find humor: What are some ways you can turn a serious situation into a funny one? ★ Petty tyrants can be great teachers, but don't get ensnared
  31. 31. Recap: Strategies for Success ★ If you have to walk away, take the highroad out ★ Have compassion, but don't enable ★ Redirect the conversation
  32. 32. Recap: Strategies for Success ★ Keep interactions short and to the point ★ Try not to show emotion or share personal details
  33. 33. Recap: Strategies for Success ★ Allow uncomfortable moments of silence ★ Let the situation dissipate, lose energy
  34. 34. Find and observe people who always seem to avoid drama; ask them how they do it
  35. 35. Dr. Merideth Ferguson You Can't Leave It at the Office: Fallout from Toxic Workplace Environments
  36. 36. Define your threshold. (and mean it) Thanks! Rich Harrison & Meghan Hatalla

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