What’s New in Business

May 8, 2008

Toxic People

Toxic People: Decontaminate Difficult People at Work without Using Weapons or Duct Tape toxic.jpg

by Marsha Petrie Sue, John Wiley and Sons, 2007.

Toxic people at work not only bring themselves down, but also the people around them if allowed to. We can’t control other peoples’ actions or behaviors, but we can control our response to them. Marsha Sue identifies the six toxic roles in most workplaces. They are: the steamroller, the zipper lip, the backstabber, the know-it-all, the needy weenie and the whine and cheeser. The behavior types exhibited by these people include the bully, the clam, the psychopath, the arrogant expert, the wimp or worrywart and the chronic complainer.

Toxic People explores each category in-depth and helps us see what we need to do to keep communication open with them, but not buy into their issues. We need to remember that we can control three things: what I think, what I say and how I behave, but we can’t control others. Toxic People trains us to recognize these people and teaches how to better deal with them. We can’t let them bring us down or get in the way of accomplishing what is needed.

Marsha Sue shares many scenarios where toxic behavior caused problems for many businesses. The stories show us others interacting with toxic people and how they addressed the situations. By applying lessons learned in the scenarios we can rise above the toxic people, work with them when needed and become better at how we respond to these situations.

Chapters also address toxic people and their effects on your business. Do you let the behavior go on or do you need to get rid of the people bringing others down with their behavior? Areas addressed for toxic cleanup include: listening, controlling the uncontrollable, customer service, mental looting, toxic infections, and ruffled feathers.

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