The last two posts have looked into toxic work environment and how to handle it. We have been looking at the outside and it’s time to look inward. Time for self-analysing reflection and audit. There are several traits of one being a toxic worker and colleague.

Failure to take ownership: When a task you have been handling gives undesirable outcome and you refuse to take ownership and you blame others instead.

Failure to take the initiative: Not taking the initiative on work projects and where these are part of your responsibilities, you have to be coerced. You opt to do the bare minimum and not cover all your tasks and responsibilities.

Suspicion of co-workers: You have an unfounded mistrust of your colleagues and view them with suspicion about everything they do.

Failure to cooperate or collaborate with others: Where teamwork is required, you cannot submit your part, do not attend meetings and refuse to work with team members. You do not pull your weight in task and projects with other. Workplace collaboration opens up access to new opportunities and fresh ideas.

Having a selfish or arrogant attitude: You make decisions that favour you only and harm the team. Wanting to be always right and do not take suggestions and feedback from the team. Failure to give credit to other employees who have contributed to an outcome.

Disrespecting fellow employees, bosses or customers: You lack respect for others. You are impolite and less courteous when interacting with anyone at work. You lace your speech with sarcasm or profanity around colleagues.

Hoarding of information/resources: keeping information that would make work more efficient for your team. Hoarding is self-preservation that hurts your career and team working.

Spreading rumours and gossiping about co-workers: This creates a toxic work environment and hurtful feeling around your colleagues. Gossiping can have damaging effects on the entire team and lead to distrust among peers.

 Excessive complaining about how things work: Complaints should be in moderation and aimed at solving an actual problem. It is acceptable to address problems that are affecting your workplace, as long as they are addressed constructively.

An attitude of entitlement: Always wanting things to go your way and lacking respect for others. Having no humility and being full of pride can affect how others perceive you, which affects your chances of growth and promotion.

If you fall into any of these categories, it is time to re-evaluate and make amends of your way.