What is toxic behaviour?
While it depends on the company culture, there are some aspects of behaviour that would be toxic in most companies.
When there’s always something wrong when team members try to collaborate with an individual, for example. Or if someone isn’t sharing concerns or feedback openly, but is doing it behind people’s backs. Or if someone is criticising others in an emotional way, without specifying facts or giving a suggestion on how to improve—that’s a common thing toxic people do.
But it's important to add that it’s not always about one employee. A lot of the time, toxic culture comes from the leadership style or values at a company. Values can seem nice on paper, but how leaders actually treat people, who gets promoted, the kind of behaviour that is promoted, and the kind that’s not accepted is what creates space for toxicity to thrive—or not.
So while a single employee may be acting in a certain way, it might be because this behaviour is rewarded in the company.
Do you have some examples of toxic behaviour you had to deal with?
I've definitely been in a few situations like this. At first it’s just some small concerns from the team about that person's behavior. But when you dig deeper, you see that there are big problems with collaboration—and it’s your job to try and understand what’s causing them.