Should I stay or should I go? That may be the primary question in your mind right now as you consider your employment.
If it's a toxic environment, you're probably leaning toward going. But, the current recession may hold you back and cause you to stay, at least for a while longer. So, how do you survive a work environment, whether it be an entire organization or with the team with whom you work?
Determine the toxin - What is the nature of the toxin that has infected the workplace? Negativity? Pessimism? Cliques? Until you name the toxin, you can't do anything about it.
Immune yourself - Surround yourself outside your workplace with positive, upbeat people and ideas. This will provide the necessary balance and objectivity. Your work and workplace, while important financially, isn't all of you. Your life outside of work can provide you with strength and a healthy perspective.
Stay connected - Recently, I spoke with a woman who had just been laid off from your employment. On her last day, one of her coworkers said to her, "You're my only friend here. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage this toxic environment without you." Stay positive and stay connected with other coworkers, team members, and customers. Don't let the toxic environment turn you inward upon yourself.
Be the difference - Deep inside you is the solution that can eliminate the toxin. The key is not simply to hope for a better day and a better team and a better work environment. It's time to start becoming the change you desire. It may start out acting "as if" the environment has changed for the better, but it will eventually turn into reality. One person does make a difference.
Bottom line: It's a tough world out there. Hang in there. Things can only get better as you make a positive difference.
Mike Weaver, is co-founder and partner with The Group Mind, http://thegroupmind.com We work with organizations to create great teams, and help them discover creative solutions to vexing problems. Our workshops are fun, engaging, insightful, and create lasting positive impacts with everyone involved. Visit our website at the above link for more information about The Group Mind.