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Toxic Workplace Culture

If you are feeling physically and mentally healthy on weekends–when you are away from the office–but as soon as you return to work, doom, gloom, physical pain and mental stress sets in and consumes you, it could be that you are working in a toxic workplace culture.

Toxic Workplace Culture


Toxic Bosses and Co-Workers

It could be that you have a toxic boss, who is impossible to satisfy. His demands may be unrealistic and unreasonable. Often, a toxic personality will persist on belittling his employees. Another characteristic of a toxic boss or co-worker is a propensity for visually scanning you from head to toe. This is sending a message that you are smaller than he is, notes Zannah Hackett, the author of “The Ancient Wisdom of Matching-Making.”

Verbal clues, such as these, let you know that you are being non-verbally belittled, which is as bad as being verbally slammed. An insecure, toxic person may avoid making eye contact with you, constantly shift and rifle through papers when talking to you.


The Indicators

Leadership-and-Motivation-Training.com points out that signs of a toxic work culture include poorly performed work, a high rate of customer complaints, foul language, numerous employee compensation claims, racist or sexist comments, intimidation, employees not turning up for work-related social events, people refusing to pitch in and lots of personality conflicts.



Sometimes a culture of bullying is encouraged in the workplace. This is a toxic environment at its worst, explains BullyFreeWork.com, where people are afraid to speak up in fear of retaliation and workers frequently call in sick.

In a toxic workplace, the employees and employers spend an inordinate amount of time blaming one another for mistakes, and employees are humiliated or ridiculed in front of other workers.



A company should have a harassment policy in place and it should be implemented. However, you may find that it is impossible to remedy the situation. Sometimes, for your own well-being and sanity, you have to move on and get out of the toxic work environment.

Tour your workplace and note which areas of work appear to be highly toxic and those which are not. Note the difference in leadership styles in each department, especially those that are non-toxic. Contemplate how you feel about your job. If you don’t have passion and excitement for your job, and are actually harboring toxic feelings, it may be that you are contributing to the toxic environment, notes Leadership-and-Motivation-Training.com.


Measuring Yourself

A good way to figure out how toxic you are and how you may be contributing to an unpleasant work environment is to take the toxic quiz offered by Learning-and-Motivation-Training.com. This is for your entertainment, but it may reveal aspects of your work personality and how you interact with others. It may also give you some insight into people that you work for or with.


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