Are YOU the toxic person in your workplace?
You come across these kinds of people in most workplaces. Colleagues who care much more about their own patch than they do about the broader context of the team or indeed the company. Or, you might know colleagues who are territorial about their work. What many employees don’t keep in mind is that they are working for the benefit of the broader company, not just their team and certainly not just for themselves. Territorial behaviour can be displayed in a number of ways:
- Not sharing knowledge with others that would be helpful to a process or project
It seems counterproductive and almost beyond belief but it happens in the workplace. While most people are happy to help, there are others who do not put themselves forward when they can help. They are not only denying themselves an opportunity for growth and contribution but they are also negatively affecting their own professional brand.
- Being unwilling to teach others what they do in their own jobs
This is similar the point we just made. This kind of behaviour may be a self-protective mechanism if you think that by sharing what you do might reduce your importance to the company. When in fact if you are displaying your skills and your knowledge, and if you do it well – you increase your value.
- Being evasive or secretive about their own workload
Most people like to be busy. Some people will spread their work out to fit the work day rather than focussing on being efficient, productive and then looking for more work. There sometimes seems to be this unwritten rule in some offices that you can’t own up to needing more work. This attitude might be due to the fear that if you own up to needing more work, that you might be considered surplus to needs. That is just not true.
- A sense of being someone who cannot be replaced
No matter how much you know and how long you have been at a company, if you left tomorrow – the company would not fall to pieces. You leave a vacuum and someone else will fill it. In reality no single person is that vital to a company. So recognise that the more you share and help others, the more you grow your professional brand, the more you increase your value.
- Displaying a ‘that’s not my job’ attitude
You hear this phrase in the workplace “That’s not my job…” Keep in mind that batting people away without offering any kind of assistance means you paint yourself into a corner of inflexibility and you send the very strong message that you are someone who is unhelpful. That won’t assist you when you want to be considered for a new opportunity.
- Being uncooperative
You’ve come across this before. That situation when you have to be super nice to your colleague so they will do something for you, which happens to be their job by the way, so that you can do your job. This can be one of the most frustrating things in the workplace that you have be extra nice – just to get someone to do their job. So don’t be that someone.
All of these behaviours make an impression on those around you. You get a reputation of being difficult to work with. You become the person to avoid rather than the ‘go to’ person. You would be amazed just how how fast that will get around. It will work against you one day.
Let’s say you apply for a different opportunity in the same company - you don’t want to risk someone on the selection panel knowing about your uncooperative nature. So don’t do it. Build your brand so that it works for you and not against you.
DotPointz to be easy to work with, do the opposite of everything we’ve discussed;
- Share knowledge with others that would be helpful to a process or project
- Be willing to teach others what you do in your job
- Be open about your workload
- Keep in mind you can be replaced – it provides you with perspective and the motivation to do a great job
- Help even if it’s not in your job
- Be cooperative
This is our personal blog . The views expressed on these pages are our views alone and not those of our respective employers.