8 Toxic Behaviors and What to do About Them

January 10th, 2017 Posted by Behavior 0 thoughts on “8 Toxic Behaviors and What to do About Them”

Photo courtesy gratisography.com

Judgmental Jim, Disrespectful Danny and the whole gang of 8 toxic behaviors in the workplace can wreak havoc on a business or organization.

Last week on the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network, my guest was Camishe Nunley of Healing Your Hidden Hurts (HYHH). HYHH specializes in counseling for individuals, couples & families with anxiety and depression but Camishe also works with businesses and organizations to provide training and education on a number of topics related to behavior and mental health at work.

8 Toxic Behaviors

On the podcast, which you can listen to in its entirety by clicking here, Camishe identified 8 toxic behaviors, being careful to make a distinction that it is the behavior at issue, as opposed to the personality, because at any given time we all can display any of the behaviors for any number of reasons.

The 8 toxic behaviors include:

  • Manipulative Mary, who builds her own belief system designed to get you to do things for her (and him)
  • Narcissistic Nancy, who has an overblown sense of self-importance and thinks the world revolves around her (or him)
  • Debbie Downer, who cannot appreciate anything
  • Judgmental Jim, who finds something wrong in everything
  • Dream Killing Keith, who just loves to tell you what you can’t do
  • Insincere Elise, who is fake and seems incapable of an authentic response to anything
  • Disrespectful Danny, who is a bully prone to doing whatever he (or she) wants at any, even inappropriate, times
  • Never Enough Nellie, who you just can’t make happy no matter what you do

You just thought of several people you know, didn’t you?

Be honest. As you read that list you were thinking of people you know that fit in to each category. Perhaps some fit in to multiple categories. Did you associate yourself with any of them?

The behaviors aren’t all that difficult to spot, particularly in the workplace where realistic views may be less blocked by personal feelings/relationships. But then what?

Now what are you gonna do about it?

What can you do once you have spotted the behavior? Camishe suggests as a first step to privately discuss it in non-threatening terms with the person displaying the toxic behavior. Put them at ease and be non-judgmental then reflect back on how the behavior makes you feel because at the end of it, you really want 2 things: to empathize/understand and for it to stop.

If you are a supervisor with an employee displaying toxic behaviors, take a similar approach but do so in more of a coaching role. Help the individual understand how to navigate through things and communicate frequently on their progress. Provide follow-up actions and corrective feedback in simple terms.

What can you control?

Finally, keep this in mind. You may not be able to change or influence someone else’s behavior, but you can control how you respond (or don’t respond) to it. The last thing you want to do is give that person power over you by allowing their toxic behavior to affect yours.

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