Monday, August 17, 2015


You are invited to share your experiences in the comments. Here are some examples of workplace toxicity that have come to my attention lately:

Workplace Bullying—can occur from manager to subordinate or between coworkers, by one perpetrator or by a dominant group. It is a covert act, out of the sight and sound of those who would disapprove.

Workplace Mobbing—can occur subordinate to manager, as well as top down or coworker to coworker. It maliciously undermines the target’s credibility or sense of worth by publicly belittling an employee, or by starting a whispering campaign against the target, including one at a higher level of the organization. Examples of targets can range from a fresh recruit to a newly promoted individual to a tenured professor.

Social Isolation—targeted individuals withdraw from social exchanges within the workplace, either abruptly or in increments, since they are made to feel unwelcome by the perpetrators.
Negative impacts on the targeted individual range from absenteeism to increasingly poor decisions, which can result in demotion, resignation, retirement, or being fired for cause. Severe cases include medical leave, disability, or even tragedy, such as domestic abuse, self-harm, or workplace violence or sabotage.

If you have recently escaped from a toxic workplace of whatever variety: Congratulations! Here are three no-cost suggestions to help you recover from the experience:
  • Allow yourself to feel sadness. Acknowledge and honor your feelings of loss and disappointment. These are normal steps in your healing process. Read Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ book, in which she describes the five stages of grief.
  • Spend some time outside. You don’t need money to take a walk in a park, or to sit on your deck, or hike through the woods. Give yourself the gift of fresh air, breeze, and sunlight.
  • Start a journal. Write about your talents. What great experiences lie ahead of you, now that you have escaped that toxic environment? Possibilities abound—and the world needs you!

JZN Associates Specializing in Professional Development Workshops and Seminars
Workplace Solutions

Jeannie Newman   
Phone: 860.794.4109


  1. I love this post! It's a perfect fit for so many people in need of this message. Thank you for sharing the information. I love the costless antidotes also.

  2. So sad to witness this type of abusive behavior in the workplace. Unfortunately society has yet to believe its a form of abuse; the misconception that abuse only happens in domestic relationships leads me to believe we need to desperately bring more awareness in the workplace. Thank you for writing on this sensitive issue as it will help those that are victims of abuse.

    1. Thanks, Luze. Bringing it into public awareness is a start.