Toxic coworkers will try to trick you with these 5 questions
Each workplace has its own set of unique characters. If you’re lucky you might find some lifelong friends, or at least someone to run around for coffee with, but sometimes you’ll end up working alongside toxic coworkers who will indirectly bring your state down. mind and maybe even get you in trouble in the long run.
Do you deal with toxic coworkers at your workplace? While it can be tempting to give in to the gossip or the spiral of negativity that toxic coworkers thrive on, it’s best to opt out whenever possible.
Below, we’ve rounded up a handful of common trick questions to look for from toxic and negative colleagues – these range from gossip-based prompts to sneaky ways of getting you to admit to something they can use against you more. late.
Do yourself a favor and avoid the following whenever possible.
Asking if you can keep a secret
A major sign of a toxic attitude in the workplace is when a coworker gives you extremely personal information about someone in the private life of the company and then urges you to “keep it a secret.” This is how rumors and in the most extreme cases blackmail begin to form.
“Unless they share information that directly affects your safety or that of others, there is no reason to engage in conversations loaded with the privacy of other employees,” says Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations at Force by Mojo. “However, toxic employees will often make a point of using this information as a bargaining chip in day-to-day interactions in the office.
The best way to deal with this, Dholakia says, is to end the conversation as quickly as possible. “Look disinterested or busy and avoid passing your own judgment on the situation. If you don’t react to them, eventually they’ll stop sharing with you. “
“Can you believe this?” or “Don’t you think they’re awful?”
Toxic coworkers will try to drag you into negativity by asking you to blame or express negative opinions on your coworkers and the people in your workplace.
Questions like “Can you believe Angela gave Terrence this mission for me?” or “Don’t you think Ida is horrible at her job?” are bait.
“If you take the bait of a toxic coworker, you run the risk of finding out later that he repeated your words to others and dragged you into the midst of the drama,” says Ravi Parikh, CEO of RoverPass. “The best way to resist it is to ignore it, deflect it, and avoid engaging with them on anything other than strictly work-related topics.”
Asking what you think of a colleague or boss
“I have seen my fair and unfair share of toxic workplaces, workers and practices and one of the most common trick questions I have seen is that my colleagues ask you what you think of your boss. ‘team, supervisor or director,’ explains the UK-based CEO. Brett Downes. “With the intention that they send back all the negative things that come out of your mouth to them.”
According to Downes, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking they’re on the same frame of mind as you and just gossiping, which can cause people to say more than they should. It’s still a breach of trust, but it can get you in trouble, sound like a promotion, or even show the door in more extreme cases.
“My advice would be to keep your own advice, but if you want to disclose your true feelings, ask them to answer the question first, because if they say something critical, you agree with them if they share any concerns. information you disclose, ”Downes says.
“You do not agree?
“There are a lot of traps toxic people will try to lure you into, but the one I see most often is a cycle of justification,” says Adam Chase, president of Music Minds. “Whatever their current problems, they will try to attract you. They will appeal to your emotions, your sense of right and wrong, sometimes even logic and reason – whatever it takes to make you see things their way. “
However, when you reinforce their point of view by agreeing with them, you have just detonated oxygen in a grease fire. Everything gets ten times worse and they will feel like you are a safe person to turn to in the future for similar rants.
“If you feel harassed by someone in this way, don’t engage or answer their questions,” Chase says. “It’s easier said than done, but remember that the slight satisfaction you can get from denigrating a manager or coworker isn’t worth dealing with a toxic person.”
Questions and trick conversations can include conversations about workplace dynamics, team member personalities, and work products, but they can also look at politics. While talking about politics can be productive and engaging outside of the workplace, employees should do their best to avoid conversations related to these topics in the office.
“It’s helpful for employees to have a standard response prepared and out of the box when toxic coworkers try to involve them in behavior that makes the other employee uncomfortable,” says Kia Roberts, manager and manager. founder of Triangle Investigations.
The answer doesn’t have to be long and curvy either. For example, the response “I really prefer not to talk about politics at work” is firm and ends a potentially toxic conversation.
“Employees need to be thoughtful and intentional about the kind of conversations they really don’t want to engage in at work,” adds Roberts.