Like toxic waste, toxic co-workers have to be handled with care. And it’s not healthy to have prolonged exposure to either.
“Whether it’s chronic backstabbing, extreme defensiveness, narcissism, cruelty, bias, discrimination or other forms of mistreatment or misbehavior that they demonstrate, [toxic co-workers] are intolerable to work with or be around for an extended period,” says Kathy Caprino, founder of Connecticut-based career-coaching firm Ellia Communications. “They’re toxic because they’re like a poison to your system and to the organization’s ecosystem, making it hard to maintain your own well-being, professionalism, and collaborative spirit when you’re around them.”
Worse yet, working with a toxic co-worker can negatively impact your job performance and even derail your career if they’re allowed to continue their behavior.
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