Of course you are! Okay then – what does this really mean?
As the CEO of your life, it stands to reason that you should also be in control of it. But are you?
First up, let’s discuss your personal life controls and then see how it relates to your business life.
What defines a person as being “toxic”?
The first is that person who is always complaining about something or someone. You know the type .. you phone them, ask “how’s things?” and before you know it, you get a litany of negatives thrust in your direction .. complaints about their partner, or their work, or their health, or money or .. the list goes on. It may even get to the point where you choose to NOT phone that person or, even avoid taking a call from them.
Such people can bring you down. You start the day happy and content and then this person “rains on your parade”.
There are, of course, other reasons why people can be deemed toxic. These include those who are “takers” only. They will take and take from you and will never give anything back in return for your largesse, your giving friendship. The reality is that your so-called “friendship” is merely one of convenience – for them.
Perhaps you have a “friend” who not only offers you no moral support but instead is always critical of you and anything you do. They may even belittle you by telling you that you can’t achieve something because you’re “not good enough” or that you “don’t have the experience” or similar.
Advice: If any such people exist in your personal sphere, get rid of them – NOW! I’m not suggesting that you organise to have them fitted with concrete shoes or anything like that (though you might feel tempted😁).
Rather, just dismiss them from your life, even if you have to tell them straight out – “I don’t want to have anything to do with you in future”. Harsh? No! Remember, YOU are the one meant to have CONTROL over the things that affect you and your feelings of well-being. No-one else.
If you have a person or people of this nature as a work colleague, then it’s vitally important that management is made aware of the negative impact that this is having on the performance and well-being of others. However, before approaching the “boss”, you might like to have a chat with the person/s concerned, make them aware of what their attitude is doing to you and others. If they react badly (quite likely), then upscale your complaint.
Okay, we have looked at the scenario wherein you have a work colleague who is toxic.
It’s important to identify what makes a workplace toxic. For instance, if:
But what if that person is senior to you or maybe even your boss?
If you feel that you’re working in a toxic workplace and you are working in a larger workplace, often the best place to start is by talking with your manager or HR department.
Try offering suggestions to your manager about how company performance and workplace culture could be improved if things were done differently and likely to improve the company’s profits.
Focus on positive suggestions for improvement rather than criticisms of the current state to reduce the likelihood of being met with defensiveness. For instance, try suggesting social activities to build morale and camaraderie or provide suggestions for other workplace improvements.
Finally, if you feel that nothing can or will change, that is, that the workplace environment will remain toxic, no matter what – MOVE ON!
And remember –YOU Are the CEO of Your Life!
If you are the owner of a business and recognise that your workplace culture needs to be improved, we can help you with Customer Success Strategies relevant to your business.
PHIL MANHIRE (CEO & Founder)