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Conquering a Toxic Workplace (for Leaders)

“Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse”– Simon Sinek

The Leadership Reformation suggests that toxic leaders create toxic workplaces with toxic cultures. Leaders are responsible for the teams, even if the cause is a toxic fellow employee. It’s their job to correct their members’ behaviour or removing them from the group. Toleration means toxic.

Here are 3 things you must practice as a leader to survive to conquer the toxic workplace and a great company culture:

1. Practice effective communication

Create a constructive, open environment. Motivate your members to share their thoughts with everyone. The best ideas are created by the team, from different perspectives. You also have to set the example of professionalism, like using appropriate language. If there is a need to communicate critical information that cannot be emailed, or if you need to respond to your member/s crucial questions, use your meetings.

Each of your members has different skills and capabilities. It’s your job to determine what those are and which ones would be beneficial to the company. Communicate your trust in the value that they bring to both the team and the organization.

All these plus an open and honest feedback system will help create a positive culture of high-performance.

2. Recognise hard work and share the glory

Acknowledge your team’s perseverance. This does not only go for those who succeeded, but for those who tried their best as well. Those contributions, little as they may be should be recognized too. Except that they’ve put in so much effort on those ideas, it’s your responsibility as a leader to make them feel appreciated.

This will not only boost the morale of your team members; it will also exponentially increase their productivity because they will be motivated to do more. This does not necessarily mean you have to use money; you can simply encourage them by sincere gestures like saying thank you for a job well done.

You owe your success to the team as well. As a leader, you should share the glory with your team. They deserve the praises from the higher-ups especially when things go well.

3. Utilise your team’s failure as an opportunity for growth

Your team’s failure is your failure as well, so don’t blame them. Instead, work with your team and problem solve together. You will learn and improve together. According to Gallup, “discussing roadblocks to excellence as a team encourages everyone to contribute ideas about how to remove them”.

With this mindset, you’re not only helping your team, you are also developing future leaders. You will greatly affect their upbringing and whatever they learned will serve as their guide to making decisions in the future.

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Cliff Chalon

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