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How to Neutralize the Effect of Toxic Co-workers

How to Neutralize the Effect of Toxic Co-workers

One of the things I despise seeing in the work environment is a cut-throat co-worker who will do anything to get recognition for their team’s work. I know you have seen these self-absorbed menaces pander to the boss simply to camouflage their true purpose. In my experience, once you discover there is a selfish player on your team, you should not ignore them. If you let them go unchecked, it will encourage others to believe that it is an acceptable behavior to get ahead. But if you confront them, be prepared for their well-calculated onslaughts against your character with the goal of making you look bad. When they do attack you and termination is not an option on the table, there are two ways that the power of humility will neutralize their assaults and keep the peace.

Expose their misdeeds by not engaging in direct conflict

Sometimes the misdeeds of workplace saboteurs are not always evident to leadership because they are not involved in the day-to-day operations. To reveal the havoc the self-centered co-worker is causing the team, you must never engage in direct conflict with them. This will undermine your efforts to expose them. Instead, make your point to your supervisor, but be humble. Humility was a tactic the ancient Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, applied as an alternative to direct confrontation. Sun Tzu wrote in his book The Art of War, “Use humility to make the enemy haughty.” Humility elevates the selfless and it unveils the selfish. Selfless people focus on adding value to the journey of others. In contrast, selfish people detest the fact that they are not the center of attention. Ironically, their rage destroys their relationships with the very people who can help them get the recognition they are seeking.

Resist the urge to retaliate in public

Don’t lose your cool if the malicious co-worker puts you on blast in front of your team. Keep in mind, your workplace adversaries will try to provoke you to become angry and act unprofessionally to make other people doubt your self-control. If you fall for this, it will make you appear immature and unfit for your position. This could potentially undermine you getting a promotion. Remember, being humble is also about controlling your energy and using your emotions to ignite positive feelings in others. Therefore, it is critical that you always keep your mind in the right place. If you need to vent, find a confidant, but don’t lash out at your enemy in public at the expense of the innocent bystander. Yes, it requires a lot of mental power and that’s why I believe humble people are very strong.

If they do attack you, here are four cues to follow:

  • Don’t clap back when unprofessional co-workers try to bait you into getting roused in meetings.
  • Don’t get even when a co-worker has wronged you. Hurt people hurt people. You won’t feel better until you release yourself from the pain by forgiving them.
  • Don’t get angry when someone on your team claims the credit for your work because they are jealous of your skills.
  • Be ice-cold calm because humble people focus their energy on adding value and creating opportunities for people to succeed.

You can’t control anyone, but you do have power to control your response. Humility is power under control.
Take your cues from me and live a great life. #NEXCUE

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