Here is a very useful and sensible article by Kate L. Harrison, referencing Anna Conrad’s work on ways to operate better in a toxic workplace environment. Ms Conrad has six suggestions.
- The first is to look inwards, to see whether you are yourself contributing to the situation.
- The second is to separate the things you objectively know to be true from those you only believe to be the case.
- The third is not to add to the toxicity by venting.
- The fourth is to “remember it’s just a job”: Ms Conrad suggests people “Focus on the fun stuff and work and (not) …get too invested in the interpersonal dynamics.”
- The fifth is to be an anthropologist and observe the situation, which will allow you to “step back from negativity.”
- Finally, she recommends people learn from the experience. Ms Conrad suggests a post mortem at the end of the week – brainstorm on what worked, what didn’t work, how to improve – and not who is at fault.
Ms Conrad makes the important distinction between being harassed, discriminated against or bullied, when she says people should seek help, for example from a senior manager or a lawyer, and what she calls “run-of-the-mill pettiness”. In the latter case, she feels a change of mindset can change how you react to the situation and improve your life at work.
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