We’ve all had days where the drive home has us fuming over some belittling comment a coworker made, gossip they’ve spread about you, or a meeting where they’ve taken credit for your work. As much as we might try to keep the office environment peaceful and productive, some individuals just seem hell bent on causing chaos.
Experts have found that over 70 percent of the variance in team performance is attributable to interpersonal relationships. No surprises there: when people get along with their coworkers, they tend to work better. But toxic behavior can easily upset this delicate balance, sapping job satisfaction and performance.
Some of the most common behaviors that toxic coworkers engage in include backstabbing, gossiping, saying one thing in a meeting and then doing another, hoarding information, undermining others, or prioritizing personal agendas. Worse yet, we’ve probably all been guilty of one of these toxic behaviors at one point or another.
That’s why it’s crucial we learn to be aware of and manage these behaviors in ourselves and others. Being able to work with a terrible colleague may seem like an art form, but it’s really skill. This Deep Dive lesson will teach you ways to develop that skill.
One way is to develop your “relational intelligence.” In the video below, Angie McArthur, CEO of Professional Thinking Partners and co-author of Reconcilable Differences, discusses the concept of relational intelligence and its three cardinal rules:
- You cannot change another person.
- You cannot make another person respect or like you.
- You can’t change another person’s perspective.
Identifying toxic individuals is easier once you understand the behavioral patterns of varying personality types. Continue to develop your emotional intelligence with video lessons ‘For You’ and ‘For Business’ from Big Think+. You can sign up for yourself right now, or request a demo for your organization.