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Toxic Colleague
Johannesburg

Signs You Are a Toxic Colleague

Posted In: Career & Business | Tips

While it’s easy to highlight other people’s weaknesses at work, have you ever stopped and wondered whether you are a toxic colleague?

A friend of mine is the biggest introvert I know. She enjoys keeping to herself and gluing her eyes and hands on the computer screen until knock off time. While she has occasional chats with her colleagues when she gets up to make coffee in the kitchen she barely makes the effort to engage with them on a social or personal level. This is one of the challenges introverts face in the office; they are often mistaken as offish or cold people. And this is what she often laments every time we catch up for drinks. While this is a challenge many introverts have to deal with and overcome, this made us engage in another topic: how does one know whether they are the negative energy that lingers in the office? From some of our personal experiences we found the below signs:

You are always defensive: Some people’s poor performance and lack of commitment does affect the entire team. And if you are one of those people who are always defensive, instead of taking constructive criticism your coworkers will start avoiding you because no one wants to deal with drama. The sad part is that how you treat your work becomes someone else’s nightmare, and at the worse level it can cost you your job.

Your aura is heavy and your words are always negative: If you are depressed and have negative emotions like fear and jealously it is reflected in your energy and the way you engage with others. If you never find anything right in the workplace, perhaps the problem is with you. Hurt people hurt other people. If you are going through a personal or career challenge always try to find someone you trust to confide in or seek professional help.

You always complain about certain colleagues without confronting them: There is nothing worse than being on the receiving end of office gossip. If you have a work-related problem with your co-worker try to address it professionally. But if it’s personal then act like an adult and respect them. We may not gel well with others, but like you, they are at work to make a living, so don’t be that person who drives them to unemployment. Remember, karma never misses its address.

You are a last minute dot com colleague: Sure, you might not be able to meet your deadline for some reason and might need help from your colleagues at the last minute. If you foresee a challenge with your work be considerate and ask for help in advance instead of dumping last minute work on other people’s desk.

You undermine other people: Maybe you are racing to climb that corporate ladder, which isn’t a bad thing unless you sabotage others while you are at it. Do you find yourself taking credit for other people’s ideas or constantly ‘forget’ to email invites to some fellow colleagues to important meetings? Here comes the important question, what is wrong with you? Nothing is as gracious as earning each title and position you climb to in your career. Use your positive strengths to your advantage at work and don’t view colleagues as threats but teammates. If something is meant for you, it will be yours through hard work and patience.

Are you a toxic colleague, and what is the reason?

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