Here are some toxic coworkers to avoid as much as possible:

  • Those who make it all about them:  their accomplishments, what they need for their project, their deadlines, what they want to say, etc.
  • Those who take all the credit and never acknowledge a team effort
  • Those who expect others to help you with your projects, but then are “too busy” to assist with theirs
  • Those who don’t keep their commitments, which means they don’t do what they promised by when they promised it
  • Those who express support for an idea outside a meeting then do a complete 180 when it’s time to cast a vote

These people will sabotage your career – consciously or unconsciously!

I’ve helped several of my clients adopt a “coach approach” when communicating with their coworkers – above, below and to the side of them on the org chart! There are a few very powerful tips and techniques that professionally trained coaches use to increase the receptivity of their clients.  These work between coworkers just as well!

For instance, starting a question with ‘why’ tends to put people on the defensive, as if they have to justify their actions.  Instead, you could ask HOW did they decide to take a particular action or WHAT prompted them to reply this way to a customer.

I also introduce the concept of designing an alliance with their employees, coworkers and customers.  Basically, it’s finding out what each side needs to produce the desired result and what’s needed to get there.  There’s great power in stating what’s really going on in any given situation too!