How to Overcome Toxic Behaviors that Poison Teams

Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman

Are Toxic Behaviors Poisoning Your Team?

In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni compares high performing teams to expert oarsmen: “If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time,” stated Lencioni.


Getting all of your team members rowing the same direction, let alone in the same boat, can be a difficult, daunting task. But when toxic behaviors enter the workplace they can be hard to detect and remove. Employees are often unaware of their own toxic behaviors, therefore they may not even know how they are poison team efforts.


Toxic behaviors in the workplace can cause high stress and low morale among employees. It can cause a lack of communication and loyalty between employees and supervisors, leaving broken relationships at work.  


6 Ways To Poison Teams



Team members who are aggressive toward others can bring a lot of tension to the workplace.  These team members often undermine safety rules and authority in the workplace. Employees may be afraid of approaching these team members because they are easily set-off. This can force other team members into defensive fight or flight reflexes.


The opposite of aggressiveness. Team members who are passive often seem like they don’t care about anything going on in the workplace. They usually don’t take initiative or responsibility for tasks on their own. They often can’t make choices or decisions by themselves and require a lot of pushing to keep them motivated.


Team members that are extremely self-focused can make others feel as if they are not valued and aren’t as important. These team members often don’t realize they are exhibiting this behavior, making it one of the harder behaviors to diminish.


Team members who commit to tasks and don’t follow through are often distrusted. Distrust can be dangerous in a workplace because employees will feel they have no one to turn to or rely on. Team members that lack credibility can be kept on-track by holding them accountable for their actions.


Employees that often lose important pieces of information can wreak havoc in the workplace. Losing papers, business contacts or even money can be costly to a business. Businesses require focus, discipline and structure to keep running smoothly.


Employees that refuse to change the way they think or behave can cause multiple problems among employees. Close mindedness can leave employees feeling disrespected and stop any fresh ideas from formulating among the team.


How do you overcome these toxic behaviors?

Overcoming toxic behaviors in the workplace can be extremely difficult. Employees may resist reporting these behaviors to a manager because they don’t want to stir things up and cause more problems for themselves or other employees. Having an open-door policy can help encourage employees to come speak about the behaviors they are facing. Also, keeping complaints from employees confidentially can help keep them from playing the “blame game.”


Working on problem solving skills, communication skills and team building exercises can help improve and keep positive relationships in the workplace. When teams have a shared vision and shared goals, they are more likely to work together without and problems to achieve success.


Fun Team Building Wants to Help You Rid Your Workplace of Toxic Behaviors


Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman, an Atlanta based company, can help get rid of poison team syndrome and get your team working together again! Give Larry a call today at (770) 333-3303 to schedule your team building day with him!

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