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10 Kinds of Toxic Persons that Will Poison A Good Business

10 Kinds of Toxic Persons that Will Poison A Good Business

In order to run a successful business, you need a strong team. Your team doesn’t just mean employees. It could be investors, suppliers, or other stakeholders in your company. Every person that comes in contact with your business has the ability to affect it in some way. The goal is to keep as many positive and helpful people around your business as possible, and to eliminate the negativity.

Even if we don’t want to admit it, the people we hang around with have a significant impact on us. One study showed that each positive person you let into your “circle” increases your chances of being positive by 11%. And just as quickly as a positive person can improve your corporate culture, a Negative Nancy can bring down team morale as well.

Now, it’s up to you to determine if each member of your business is contributing positivity and good vibes, or if they’re actually a toxic piece that has to be removed. Here are 10 types of people who are bringing your business down.

1. The people who feel entitled

There’s nothing worse than someone who feels entitled to everything. Working hard and feeling as though you deserve the rewards you earn is a good thing. Failing to contribute to the business, and not working towards growth, but expecting to reap the rewards of the business’ success however, is an entirely different story.

These are the people who will perform mediocre work, or just enough to keep their job, then will cause a ruckus when it’s time for bonuses to be given or raises to be distributed, wondering why they didn’t get more. You’ll always be the bad guy in their eyes.

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2. The people who agree to everything

Yes Men. It’s human nature to want to be praised and congratulated. Having people tell you how good your ideas are is a great feeling, but having people tell you the truth will have a much better effect on your business.

You need to have people you can go to who will give you honest, well thought out advice on your ideas and business decisions. The problem with yes men is that they’re going to tell you whatever you want to hear, no matter how bad it is. You could pitch them your idea to open up a tattoo parlor for toddlers, and they’d be 100% on board.

3. The people who always have their hands out

As your business starts to grow, you’ll undoubtedly attract people who ask you for favors. Whether it’s your time or money, they’ll always want something from you, but typically offer nothing in return. It might start off seeming innocent enough. Can I borrow a couple of dollars to hold me over until next month? But six months later when they’re still asking you for money, or to do them one “small” favor, you’ll realize that you’re being taken advantage of.

You’ve worked too hard to get to where you are to give it all away for free. Helping people out is fine, but don’t become a permanent lifeline.

4. The people who promise you the world

Being in business, you’re probably very accustomed to the world of selling. But every now and then, you’re bound to come across a few people who will make you wonderful promises of doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your revenues and expanding your business beyond belief.

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So you’re excited. It sounds great! But nine times out of ten, it’s just hype to get you to buy into something that’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

5. The people with no follow-through

Some people are great at generating ideas and being creative. But when it comes to executing those ideas, they’re completely lost. That’s where you come in. They get you to invest your resources to push their idea. But after a while, they realize it’s not something they want to pursue and you’re left with a burden on your shoulders that has taken your focus away from your own business.

If someone pitches you an idea, triple check to make sure they’re the real deal and are invested in making it work. If they don’t show the same passion and drive for their business ideas as you have for yours, then it’s probably not going to end well for either of you.

6. The people who shoot down your dreams

Just as yes men can be toxic to your business, someone who constantly shoots down all of your hopes and dreams can be equally damaging. Constructive criticism is helpful, but if someone is completely ragging on every idea you have, that means one of two things:

  1. All of your ideas are awful (very unlikely)
  2. They’re putting you down for their own personal reasons

There will always be people who tell you that you can’t be successful. The secret to success is ignoring the noise, and staying focused on making your business work.

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7. The people who hate their job

Do you have employees that you know hate being there? They come in unexcited, they always leave at 5:00 PM on the dot, and show no interest in furthering their career with your company. It may sound cruel, but sometimes the best thing you can do in this situation is to let them go.

Why? Because sooner or later their attitude will spread to other employees. They’ll constantly complain about being underpaid, problems they have with the company, and other issues they have. Before you know it, your company is filled with people who don’t want to be there and aren’t working their hardest like Peter Gibbons.

8. The people who love drama

Unless you want your business to be made into a soap opera, stay away from people who can’t seem to avoid drama. A little bit of office gossip is normal, but when it starts to affect people’s ability to work productively and be cohesive, the problem needs to be addressed.

9. The people who bring the wrong kind of attention

I’m not sure what it is, but some people just seem prone to negative publicity. No matter where they go, they always seem to leave a bad taste for everyone they come in contact with. You don’t want your business to become attached to people who have a bad reputation or are synonymous with trouble.

Whether it’s an investor that was tied up in a horrible scandal, or a high level executive that can’t seem to stop getting arrested, sometimes it’s best to just cut your business ties altogether.

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10. The people who try to change your vision

When you started your business, you had a vision of what it would be. You have your mission statement, your branding, and have even thought about what type of corporate culture you want. But as your business grows, you’ll have different people try to alter that vision and transform what your company is all about.

A little bit of change is OK, but doing a complete 180 from what you intended can have a very bad impact. For one, there’s a good chance that you’ve built up a customer base and clientele that chose your company because of its foundation. Stay true to your overall vision and be authentic. Don’t let others deter your company from its essence.

The key is to keep as many positive people around your business as possible, and cut off any of these toxic ones. Have you had any run-ins with any of these toxic persons?

Featured photo credit: Man on smart phone – young business man in airport. Businessman using smartphone inside office building or airport. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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