5 tips to survive a toxic work environment

A toxic workplace is detrimental and has nothing in store for you than a bruised self-esteem. It kills your chances of building an innovative work life and leaves you preoccupied with the thoughts and fear of virtually everything that could go wrong.

Toxic workplaces have a notorious reputation of being a breeding ground for toxic leadership, dysfunctional colleagues, favouritism, sickening policies and depressing procedures. Therefore, a working in an environment filled with such infighting, drama, powerplay and battles against a multitude of personalities is not just dysfunctional to your career but will eventually hurt your productivity and mindset.

How to handle a toxic work environment

Dodge Bullets

The numero uno strategy for dealing with the workplace dregs of humanity is simple: avoid them. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but before you start having revenge fantasies the first thing you want to think about is how to minimize contact. Because the worst thing that can happen is not being annoyed or harassed, rather it is becoming just like what you didn’t like. If you spend most of your day around a jerk or a toxic person, your chance of becoming one too more than doubles.

Use Reappraisal:

Mind Tricks That Protect Your Soul

‘Reappraisal’ in this context simply means interpreting your situation differently. You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change how you perceive it. For example, you can say: It’s not a crisis — it’s a challenge. It’s not a frustration — it’s a puzzle to be solved

You want to depersonalize whatever stress they’re giving you. They’re in a bad mood or they have issues. It’s not about you. Don’t treat dealing with them like a nightmare. This will help you to remain calm and become less upset.

Handle yourself right

In a toxic workplace, practice mindfulness. When you find yourself in a situation you can’t control, the best thing to do is to control yourself and your temper.f.  You need to constantly remind yourself that you are in a work environment and so you should not be impulsive or careless with your reaction to the words and actions of the toxic elements in your workplace.

Let your countenance, body language and actions must remain professional and as neutral as possible, especially with the words you utter in any form of business communication. Protect yourself, guard your happiness and don’t flip.

Document Everything

An important thing to do when you find yourself working in a toxic environment is to document everything. Keep track of tasks, achievements and if possible, any form of abuse. They would be your proof in situations where you have to defend yourself in an official capacity.

Ensure all the tasks and projects you receive are clearly communicated via formal channels not verbally.

Plan Your Exit

In a toxic workplace, strive to put in your very best and keep things professional but it’s even more important to begin to plan your exit. When you are in a toxic workplace environment, staying longer than necessary is not an option. However, to exit, you will need a plan. Get your CV out and update it. Look at your profiles online to see if they are up to date.

Be strategic with your job search and applications. Don’t apply for anything to avoid stepping into the same boat twice. Most times, you will have to work on your confidence level and bring it a few notches higher. This will prove crucial in getting you job interviews and get you closer to landing a better job.

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