You know what I’m talking about don’t you?
One of those teams where the week feels like this:
Seriously though, there are some common traits that are alive and well to some degree in all Toxic Teams and the reason I’m giving them to you is because sometimes you’re in a Toxic Team and you don’t even know it!
As human beings we are very good at adapting to our environment so what this means is, we can sometimes not only endure highly stressful or demoralising situations BUT actually trick ourselves into thinking what’s happening is ‘okay’ or ‘normal’.
So here are The Top 5 traits of Toxic Teams you need to know about:
- Favouritism – It is very clear to you that there are some people who have somehow been anointed and are part of the ‘in’ group. These ‘special’ people get preferential treatment, the best performance reviews, the biggest bonuses, taken to lunch with the boss and when they underperform the manager looks the other way.
- Snakes in Suits – The manager hardly ever acknowledges you or anyone else in the team for that matter for the great work they do because they’re too busy taking credit for everyone else’s hard work. You sometimes wonder if the boss even knows your name… The bottom line is, these managers have no time for anyone that cannot further their OWN career and when things go well they’re right there to accept the kudos and when they go badly they’re Missing in Action.
- Mind Numbing Meetings – You dread the meetings and will do anything to get out of them because they’re disorganised, start late, always run over time, are dominated by grandstanders, no one ever follows through on agreed action items and last but not least… They’re BOOOOOOOOOOORING!!!!!!!!
- The Mirror Treatment – “We’ll look into it.” You know this one don’t you? Every time you need something fixed, need some action taken or waiting to hear the outcome of an important decision you get that famous throwaway line, “We’ll look into it.” Funnily enough these are the same managers that invite your suggestions or feedback for improvement only to ignore them! Sometimes there’s even a nice little box where you can put your comments… Just to give you a bit of false hope that things may change.
- The YES Man (or woman) – If you’re working for a YES Man it’s excruciatingly frustrating! They won’t make a decision, they’re always REACTIVE because of poor planning, you don’t know if you’re coming or going due to constantly changing priorities and you end up with work from other departments because your boss CAN’T SAY NO.
Now the good news…
If you’re stuck in a Toxic Team, there is a way out – outperform and outproduce your way out of it!
I mean that – if you can totally outperform your toxic team members, someone who come and snatch you away – either another department of better yet – a headhunter (recruiter)!
The key is to document what you’re doing so you have PROOF of your PERFORMANCE and results and making sure it’s as public and noticeable as possible – so the interested parties who are searching for talent can find you.
Some bad news…
Chances are if your team’s toxic, there’s not much you can do to change it – you want to LEAVE it as quickly as possible, either within the same organisation or another company.
Toxic Teams are like cancer – once they infiltrate their way in, there’s almost no chemotherapy available to eradicate it.
Sorry, but that’s the truth.