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!