Magazine

‘Toxic Co-Workers’: Recognizing Them and Putting Y

Editor’s note: The following information was compiled by Monica Tanksley from sources including the articles “Toxic Colleagues: Nine Co-Workers To Watch Out For” by Meghan Casserly on Forbes.com and “6 Ways to Tackle Your Toxic Colleagues” in the SPH Magazines SimplyHer and HerWorldPlus; and the book “Corporate Bullshit: A Survival Guide” by Blaine Loomer. – JVH



 “Toxic colleagues/co-workers” – we all have them; they’re in every company and industry, every office and workplace. They come in all forms – managers, supervisors, front-line staff, field staff, clerical staff and on and on.

We all know who they are; they only look out for “numero uno” as they brown-nose their way to the top. They stop at nothing to get ahead, schmoozing the boss and stepping all over us to get what they want. In the process of setting and getting their own personal agenda, they don’t care whether they hurt us, their teammates.

These types can take a toll on our business organizations by lowering job satisfaction and causing plummeting job performance, among other negative effects.

We look at them in dismay and disbelief. As workplace targets of their bad behaviors, we can become frustrated and angry, and sometimes even resort to quitting our jobs.

Experts say that one step to workplace success in such situations is to recognize what they call toxic personality types and their strategies. Here are some:

Busy Bees are always on the move but accomplish little work, because they know how to play the game. These co-workers spend a lot of time talking, not holding up their end on projects, and leave project teammates to compensate for their shortcomings.

Chronic Downers can become hazardous to your mental health, as well as to your career and reputation. Their negative attitude can become contagious and take you down a path of negativity that drains your time and energy.

Excuse Makers have an excuse for every time their work never gets done. They are great at getting out of responsibility and leaving their tasks for others to complete.

“Funeral Directors” are those co-workers who live on negative energy and are motivated by drama and crisis. They procrastinate on their work duties until the absolute deadline, when there is no other choice and “it just has to be done.”

Haters complain and spread negative comments about their colleagues, because they know they have a receptive audience in the workplace. They are fueled by this outlet for their negative energy.

Know-It-Alls can’t seem to separate fact from opinion. They come across as self-important, and have an unspoken need to always be right. In meetings, they often try to take over and dominate the conversation.

Manipulators are all about getting their way and gaining control and power. They will bully others into doing something they don’t want to do or shouldn’t be doing.

 “Patients” always seem to have a personal drama going on in their lives, and feel they must share all the details with their co-workers. They, therefore, waste valuable company time, because they often get colleagues to listen and sympathize with their personal problems.

Pessimists simply go through the motions of performing their job. They have no aspirations to move up in the organization, and may even lash out at co-workers who do or discuss their dreams and hopes of advancing in the company.

Rebels are co-workers who are never satisfied with any decision made by leadership. Convinced they can do a better job, they constantly complain about the state of the department or organization.

“Roosters” spend a lot of time “crowing” about themselves. Fear of making a bad decision keeps this type sitting on the “workplace fence,” and they, therefore, rarely make a decision.

Slackers lack effort in completing job duties and possess an unproductive behavior. They have poor attitudes and work ethics, and consistently miss deadlines.

“Snipers” revel in sarcasm, rude remarks and eye-rolls, leaving their workplace victims looking and feeling foolish.

Snitches/Tattletales keep office rumor mills going and going and going. They seldom bear good news and love to indulge in sharing bad news and negative rumors, gossip and any other “information” that they think they can use to get ahead.

“Social Coordinators” spend most of their work-time in other people’s offices, break-rooms or hallways planning what everyone should do for lunch, where they should go for lunch or making plans for after-work get-togethers, rather than at their own desk working.

“Space Cadets” stare at the walls or their computer wondering how or where to start tasks. They often wander the halls wondering where they left their coffee cup or notepads and other office supplies. If asked what’s wrong, they blame being overworked for their “spacey” behavior.

Taskmasters spend all their time worrying about what everyone else is doing, while complaining that because no one else ever does anything, they get assigned all the workload. They also are quick to off-load their tasks to other people, but as soon as a task is completed, they take credit for getting it done.

Whiners complain endlessly about what is not right in the office, the field, their work area and job duties, their home and family life. They want to share their misery.

Despite these “toxic” colleagues who spread their back-stabbing behaviors, negativity and selfishness throughout the workplace, we can, however, still get ahead in our parking industry jobs. By becoming aware of these types of co-workers and learning how to positively deal with them, we can avert their plans, work around them, steer clear and take success by the horns – “Beep-Beep.”



Monica Tanksley is Special Events Manager for Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Rochester, NY.

Contact her at mgayton-tanksley@Parking.Rochester.edu. Other sources include the article “Five Types of Toxic Co-Workers” by Tim Holdsworth on AlignTechSolutions.com; and the book “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand” by Rick Brinkman

and Rick Kirschner.



 

Article Abstract from April, 2013




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