How to Identify Toxic Personalities in the Workplace – Ryan Ayers

mickyates ideas, Leader, leadership, Organization, Teams 0 Comments

Stress: it’s making all of our lives difficult, affecting our overall health and well-being. Toxic people in the workplace are often a huge contributor to overall team stress, which can affect morale, productivity, and even talent retention rates. Toxic people can find their way into any office—and 4 out of 5 employees feel that leadership in their organizations doesn’t take enough action to reduce the impact of toxic employees in the workplace. Why is that? One reason could be that it can be a challenge to spot toxic people—there are different kinds of toxic people, and they often spur more toxic behavior around them, making it difficult to pinpoint the source. If you’re worried about toxic people in your office, here are some ways to identify the problem.

Follow the Drama

All offices have some drama, but it’s best to keep it to a minimum. Toxic people often attract and even crave drama, seeking it out and creating it whenever possible. Not only is drama distracting and stressful, it can affect the personal lives of your team and bring them unhappiness at work and at home. Drama in the office? Find the source and look for patterns—you may be surprised to learn that the same people are involved every time. Toxic people are always in crisis—and they want other people to know about their drama.

They Always Talk About Themselves

Ever meet a leader or employee who wouldn’t let you get a word in edgewise? Did they talk about themselves nonstop, and never ask any questions or listen to what you had to say? Narcissistic and toxic people often have difficulty focusing on subjects other than themselves. Listening and collaboration is a key skill for healthy team communication, and a person who can’t listen might have some qualities of a toxic person.

Who Complains?

Nobody loves their job 100% of the time. But you know what nobody loves even more? The person who complains about hating their job 24/7. Constant complaining can have an effect on overall morale, and the people who tend to complain the most are the most likely to never be satisfied. They like to complain—about everything, and tend to be a toxic influence on the office environment.

Spot Little Lies

Most people know better than to try lying at work, but some toxic people just don’t care. If you’re noticing little lies coming up time and time again, it may be time to take a good hard look and see if you might be dealing with a toxic person.

Control Freak

Whether or not they’re in a leadership position, controlling people add toxicity to the office. An authoritarian boss who doesn’t want anyone else’s input, a team member who dominates every meeting and tries to direct everything—these people can have a negative effect on the team. Collaboration helps an organization grow by welcoming in new ideas and making team members feel valued. The control freak is toxic because they do the opposite of empower: they steamroll their colleagues, and view everyone else as incompetent—or in competition.

When Negativity Reigns

Negative people might seem like a benign annoyance, but they’re actually a type of toxic personality that can make other people in the office reluctant to come into work. It’s one thing to have an occasional negative outlook when something doesn’t go your way, but coworkers who complain about life or work on a daily basis can be detrimental to a productive workplace.

Dealing with Toxic People

Once you’ve identified the toxic people who are wreaking havoc on your office, what do you do about them? Toxic people can bring a company down, whether they intend to or not. Some people will just never be able to contribute to a positive and productive work environment, and unfortunately, you may have to make some tough staffing decisions for the good of the team. Eliminating toxic behavior will make a big difference in your organization. However, you should almost always make an effort to turn the toxic behavior around and help your team members grow and change rather than let them go. If that’s still not working then it’s time to make a decision: do you choose the toxic employee, or the team? That decision is pretty easy to make. Don’t be afraid to speak up and fight toxic behavior in the workplace—the business innovation, productivity, and happiness of your team depends on it.

How Leadership is Fostered Internally Rather than Hiring Outside

mickyates ideas, Leader, leadership, Organization, Personal development 0 Comments

We’ve all heard of the term “lead by example,” and that’s often true; especially when upper management is interested in hiring future leaders from within their corporations. Although each management candidate is responsible for their own professional growth and development, there’s a lot that a CEO can do to groom and cultivate future leaders for upcoming leadership positions.

Below are some key elements that leaders could use to foster leaders from within, as opposed to seeking them from external sources.

  1. Identify Leadership Traits as Early on as Possible

One of the things that those in upper management roles can do to prepare to hire from within is to first identify current employees with common leadership traits. Including those who:

  • show a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm, as well as a willingness to learn and go over and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the company.
  • are self-motivated, have become familiar with and practices the company’s core values, vision, mission, purpose, policies, and procedures.
  • are team players and take the initiative to learn more about their area of specialty so the company can better benefit from their work performance.
  1. Constantly Add Value to Current Employees Through Mentorship

A current leader can add a tremendous amount of value to future leaders just by taking a special interest in their overall career, while offering guidance and mentoring as they climb the corporate ladder.

Upper-level managers have a great deal of influence over up-and-coming leaders. Their words of wisdom can go a long way. They can make suggestions about what future leaders can do to improve, sustain, or promote within their careers. Their words of wisdom and golden nuggets could be just the fuel needed to inspire future leaders to take further action resulting in increased professional growth and development.

Such strategic action steps taken by internal staff members can better position them for up and coming leadership roles; including actions such as

Any of these areas combined with mentoring, guidance and direction can add much-needed value to aspiring leaders. It would make them so much more competitive in the marketplace, that a corporation would be foolish to overlook them.

Interestingly, 86 percent of some of the country’s top CEOs were appointed from within. Not only will investing in the professional growth and development of future leaders better position them for upper management positions, but it will also increase their level of commitment and longevity.

  1. Bridging the Leadership Gap

As upper management and leadership roles become available, they can be filled in relatively short order if corporations take the time to keep their pipelines filled with well trained, highly talented candidates; preferably those who have participated in corporate leadership programs. That way, there will always be a pool of well-seasoned candidates that are available to step in and fill in any leadership gaps.

According to the Harvard Business Review, many companies fail to fill these vacancies with qualified leaders due to lack of leadership development programs. They also added that it was also very surprising to learn how many candidates are actually under qualified for these positions, although they’ve been previously considered for upper management roles earlier in their careers.

Consistently cultivating future leaders is the best approach for having a good shot at hiring the type leaders that are the best fit for future leadership positions.

Emerging leaders that are positioned for on-going growth and development will likely be the ones that stick around long enough to land these great leadership positions in the future.

Having stated the above, it’s important that corporations take advantage of the opportunity to deposit as much knowledge and motivation into emerging leaders as possible so that they can reap the fruit of their labor; and not another corporation. Equipping emerging leaders with both industry knowledge and soft skills are key areas for future leadership consideration.

To conclude, the idea of gaining additional perks such as retirement plans, annual bonuses, stock ownership and more are also ways to boost the commitment level of emerging leaders as well.