5 Ways to Transform a Toxic Workplace - Weave

5 Ways to Transform a Toxic Workplace

There are times where you can be facing a power battle in a toxic workplace. It is a tough time when that is going on. You can feel torn between going against your values and toeing the line or standing up for your values and faces waves of resistance.

Healing toxic workplaces
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Today I offer you these snippets to release the toxicity and reclaim some of your inner power.  

Refocus your power.

Now look we could start this process by searching around, pointing fingers, throwing blame around. Look for who the wrongdoers are and then what? Stand up and point out what is wrong. 

The problem here is that often everyone thinks that they are right, and blame often clouds the way through. 

Refocus your power to avoid toxicity in the workplace
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The other part of this is petitioning others to come in and fight your battle. And while this is an essential part of bringing change, it can’t be the only way as waiting for someone else to make it all better often doesn’t feel very empowering. 

So before you go down the obvious path to create change, let’s focus your inner power first. Then seeking support to help change the toxicity will work in a very different way.  And doing it without blame, that is truly powerful. 

Clear your inner toxicity.

Let’s look at what you can do to clear the toxic stuff going on around you:

To do this, we start with expanding inner strength and positivity. 

One of the ways we get dragged down into the toxic workplace environment is by meeting it at its grotty level. How about trying this: Before we even set foot in the door, build up a strong sense of inner strength.

Now, this process is different for everyone. That might be: 

  • Going for a run or other exercise
  • Doing power posses 
  • Doing meditation (I like something heart-based for this like loving-kindness meditation (meta) or heart coherence.
  • Visualisation
  • Journaling (I like to start with the line “I chose to know and believe…”)

And there are many more. Find your way to start your day on a high so that you can walk into work fully charged.

Using anger as it is designed to be used.

One of the ways to transform a toxic workplace is to do activities that help alleviate the mind.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Anger is a powerful emotion. It isn’t there to challenge our self-mastery (although when out of check it can be great for that). What our anger is trying to tell us is usually that one of our boundaries has been crossed.  And when I say boundaries, I mean, crossed a line that isn’t ok with us. 

So when our anger alert has sounded, we have an opportunity to do two things. 

The first is the question of our boundary or line in the sand of ok. So whatever boundary has been crossed, ask:

  • Is this boundary reasonable?
  • What does this boundary protect/support/enable?
  • Am I willing to compromise this boundary?

Once you are clear on that, the next step is to look at how are you going to defend that boundary. Now, this is where a bit of anger (not too much or it can overwhelm you) can come in handy as it helps you speak up. 

  • What are you going to do or say to stand up for what you believe is crossing a boundary

Related article: Workplace Culture Matters & Here’s The Reasons Why

Choose constructive communication over gossip in a toxic workplace.

I know how frustrating it is to be in a toxic environment, but blowing off steam is like adding full to the fire.  We all need to talk about it when things are hard, but to be stuck in discussing a litany of problems is adding to the toxicity. Instead, after looking at what isn’t working, ask:

  • What can I do to make this better?
  • What are the positives I can see in this?
  • Where are they coming from?

Start the reconciliation process.

From a workplace level, it is crucial to start the reconciliation process. 

Reconciliation has three stages:

  1. Understand the different viewpoints and what each group needs. There needs to be a healing process around this, especially where things have got nasty.
  2. Creating a safe dialogue to create a combined vision and action plan to move forward in a morally respectful way.
  3. Build-in processes so that all involved can heal starting with a strong circle of safety, blame-free workplace culture, and a healthy support system. 

Working through conflict in a way that heals, builds understanding, and creates agreed values at the same time as setting up future support and approaches to working together is key to creating a sustainable cultural improvement. 

Everyone in the workplace is adding to the energy of the culture. Real change happens when everyone commits to doing their part to build a connection throughout the workplace. And that can start with one person. It can start today with you.

Originally published on SmallVille

Trish Everett

Communication ninja, mindset cajoler, peak-performance coach and workplace culture geek, Trish Everett is the director of Weave. It is her personal mission to help 5000 people double their efficacy in the work while helping them to fall more and more in love with their jobs by the end of 2022.