They’re everywhere. Always around, waiting to sit next to you at the team meeting or for you to take a break. Toxic coworkers. You see them more than your loved ones during the week. They strike at the worst times, draining any excitement, motivation, and stamina you have reserved to get through the workweek.
Not all coworkers are bad. There’s something you can learn from each (good and bad) including these toxic ones, but if you’re in the midst of a workplace conflict or trying to transform your career, it would be wise to avoid these 4 types at all cost. Keep interactions to a minimum, focused on work only so you move forward with your plans.
The Constant Complainer
Self explanatory. Spend time more than necessary with this coworker and you’ll find yourself in a funk, complaining about everything. Their complaints are usually valid but they channel negative energy. They never offer up solutions, they simply like to complain. Being angry and frustrated all the time is not good. It can lead to a lack of focus, productivity, and even health problems.
The Con Man
Most people are overworked and underpaid. It’s a fact. This coworker though takes it to the extreme. They’re a mixture of several toxic types which can be lethal. Instead of getting their work done, they use the, "I'm so overworked and underpaid story" to con you or others into doing work for them, while they continue to hang out at the water cooler, take extended lunches or mental health days once a month.
The Cry Baby
You have enough going. You don’t have time to invest listening to somebody else cry and whine about their personal problems. It’s great when we get to know more about our coworkers beyond their professional merits but you are not a therapist, counselor, or doctor. Tell them to get the help they need from the right source and keep it pushing.
Mr. or Ms. Disease-itis is probably a better name for them. They’re sick all the time, with some ailment. And while they’re not necessarily spreading germs, they’re spreading noise…noise about their doctor appointments, medicines they're taking, sick time they've scheduled, and procedures their doctors will be performing (in order to get better, right). They’re always ill. Be compassionate of course but don’t get duped into managing their health problems for/with them.
In some ways, coworkers are like family. You don’t to get to choose who they are for the most part, you just have to learn to work with them. Take note of these 4 and stay away. Your days will be less stressful and more productive. It’s about you right now, your career aspirations and sanity.
And if you saying to yourself, “Wow Anisha, you’ve described how some say I interact with them.” STOP NOW…seriously. Commit now to making a change for the better. Your colleagues will appreciate it and your career will benefit from it.
Anisha works exclusively with individuals providing HR Support, Done-For-You Services, and Coaching. Known as the “HR Passionista” in certain circles, her signature systems help clients to transform their careers, resolve workplace conflicts (e.g. bullying, harassment), and more importantly maintain a peace of mind.