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The Dangers of a Toxic Team Member

The Dangers of a Toxic Team Member

A team of people that work well together can achieve great things – they can power through projects and overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. On the other hand, a team of people that don’t work well together… not so much. That’s why it’s important to remove toxic team members immediately. The best leaders know how detrimental one disengaged person is to the entire organization and will quickly part ways with a toxic employee or client before their problems get out of hand. Check out these six telltale signs of a toxic team member and learn what you can do to avoid them in your own organization!

 

What Makes Them Toxic?

We’ve all had toxic people in our lives. They are typically characterized by one or more toxic behaviors, such as blaming, lying, disrespecting others and playing victim. These behaviors create interpersonal chaos for everyone around them. And, if you’re dealing with someone who consistently exhibits negative behavior, you may want to consider whether they are truly on your team—or if they should be removed from it altogether.

 

What to Do If You Encounter One

Nobody’s perfect. Maybe you hired an intern who isn’t working out, or maybe an employee has finally gone too far. That doesn’t mean it’s time to call it quits—you can still salvage that relationship and make your team better in the process. Here are some tips for dealing with toxic team members: 1. Delegate duties. If someone is doing more harm than good on your team, try assigning them new tasks to do. This might be a temporary solution until you find another role for them within your organization (for example, ask them to take over managing social media accounts while training someone else how to write content). 2. Provide feedback. Don’t let people get away with poor performance or behavior without addressing it. Even if you don’t think they want to hear what you have to say, it will help them improve their work ethic and ultimately benefit everyone involved. 3. Set clear expectations from day one. Make sure everyone knows what their job responsibilities are from day one, so there aren’t any surprises down the road when people start slacking off or not pulling their weight in other ways. 4. Talk about goals. What does success look like? How can we achieve those goals? What needs to happen every week, month, quarter? By talking about these things up front, you’ll avoid misunderstandings later on. 5. Let go graciously if necessary. Sometimes all you can do is wish someone well as they move onto bigger and better things—even if it means leaving your company behind!

 

How To Deal With A Toxic Person In Your Organization

The secret to dealing with toxic team members is to take action as soon as you can. If you wait too long, they’ll start spreading their negativity throughout your organization and infecting everyone around them. Here are some tips for dealing with a toxic person in your organization 1) Don’t ignore it: It may be tempting to simply avoid dealing with a problem employee or teammate, but ignoring toxicity will only make things worse. 2) Take it seriously: One common mistake leaders make when trying to deal with someone who isn’t performing well is not taking it seriously enough. They assume that if one person is struggling, another member of their team will pick up the slack. This doesn’t always happen, though—and even if it does, it still means that one less person on your team is contributing at full capacity. 3) Make sure you have support: Sometimes people fall into negative patterns because they don’t feel supported by those around them. If you think that might be an issue with a team member, talk to your manager about what kind of assistance he or she could offer. 4) Get rid of them: In extreme cases, there’s no way to save a truly toxic employee from themselves. When faced with such an individual, you need to ask yourself whether it makes sense for him or her to remain part of your organization. If so, what kind of help does a toxic team member need?

 

Check out this article on Positively Impacting CoWorkers.

 

Here’s INC.’s Tips for Firing a Toxic Employee

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