Definition of "toxic personality" in IT

In the last article , the author and I came to the conclusion that there is no precise definition of a “toxic personality.” Therefore, I decided to fill this gap in education and independently formulate this definition.

What is the essence of the problem?

Regardless of the type of relationship, both parties always believe that they were somehow offended. For example, the team does not allow a person to express their opinions. There are 2 possible options:

  1. The team considers human behavior unacceptable (toxic)
  2. The person considers the actions of the collective manipulative (toxic)

Well, who is right? You can write your opinion in the comments, and I will offer you my own.

First of all, I went through all the first pages in Google on the query “toxic personality”, read everything, digested it, and I had the following definition:
Toxic personality ” - an employee who does not feel part of a team, or divides a cohesive team into parts.

The essence of the team is to make joint efforts to achieve a common goal . And the “toxic personality” turns the work into a fairy tale about a swan, cancer, and pike, so I consider the division of the team into parts its main feature.

And now examples. Poisons, which the team is divided into parts and antidotes:
(I came up with the antidotes myself, if you have better ideas, write in the comments)

Poison: "I am always right, because I have more experience, but you are not competent and must write code as I write." ( criticism )

Antidote: “If you cannot explain why your code is better, then you yourself are not sure about it. Were sure - they would immediately show how to and say why. ”

Poison: “It is better to speak straight. A sharp word helps motivate a person to solve a problem faster. ” ( time wasting )

Antidote: “If an obscene speech helps to solve a problem faster, then why don't you use the same methods when writing SQL queries, for example? Add there more words to make the database even clearer. ”

Poison: “I will still say everything I think about their bug reports! You just take away my right to free speech, you are manipulators! ”( Waste of energy )

Antidote: “ Our goal is not to restrict you in anything, but to create such a product faster and easier. How exactly do your sayings help other people do their work faster? ”

Poison: “This is just a business. The strongest survives. ”( Lack of empathy )

Antidote: “ All things in the world are created by groups of people. If you are sure that you are the strongest of all - you would have done everything yourself a long time ago, why are you wasting our time? Want to work together - let's negotiate. ”

Poison: “IT is not a kindergarten. You are just sissies, offended. You are not stress-resistant! ”(Ridicule)

Antidote: “ And what kind of stress should our employees struggle with? With the one you create intentionally with your statements? ”

There are still people who give their colleagues false information, or do not share it at all. I did not come up with an example of poison, but then probably everyone understands that they need to be first identified and fired, because these are direct losses for everyone.

So, my verdict: Both are wrong. The one who, from a position of strength, divides the collective into parts, and the one who defends himself and moves away from the collective, both participants in the relationship are “toxic personalities .

What solutions exist?

Robert Sutton suggests not to work with toxic people at all. And this seems to be the right decision, because it is impossible to rehabilitate a person.

I personally think that you need to give a person a chance, or even two. Perhaps then a person will understand that the strategy “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” makes a profit only in the conditions of the prisoner's paradox, and cooperation is always more profitable in any team. But, if there are a lot of “toxic people” around, then the only way out is to urgently escape from such a team.

Do you agree with my definition of toxicity? Waiting for your opinions in the comments.

Also popular now: