img img img img

Escaping a Toxic Work Environment

Escaping a Toxic Work Environment

Escaping a Toxic Work Environment

I am having a bad Monday at work every day the week! I feel restless, there’s low morale, constant stressors, negativity, sickness, high turnover, and even bullying. Can you relate? WOW, what a list, however hang on…………………, there’s another better list ready for you to check where you’re at and then, you can choose what to do in your toxic work environment, before you leave the building! Leaders deal with challenges and this is an opportunity for change and better outcomes for you in the workplace. Take charge!

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.

The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill, British politician, army officer and writer


Manuela Priesemuth writes in HBR that, Time’s Up for Toxic Workplaces.” Millions of people face abusive supervisors and bullies at work. These employees are targets of ridicule, threats, or demeaning comments by their manager on a daily basis, which results in decreased satisfaction, productivity, and commitment to the job as well as the organization at large.

While direct interactions with “bad bosses” can be traumatic for employees, the problem often goes further than a single individual. Indeed, some of my own research has shown that abusive behaviour, especially when displayed by leaders, can spread throughout the organization, creating entire climates of abuse. Because employees look to and learn from managers, they come to understand that this type of interpersonal mistreatment is acceptable behaviour in the company. In essence, employees start to think that “this is how it’s done around here,” and this belief manifests itself in a toxic environment that tolerates abusive acts. More so, studies have even shown that employees who experience abuse from a supervisor are also more inclined to “pass on” this type of treatment in a ripple effect.

Given the harmful consequences of abusive bosses, the question is what can be done to change this behaviour? The findings from my two latest studies suggest that we can structure work environments in a way that helps combat abuse:

  • First, companies should increase awareness and educate managers about all costs associated with abusive conduct
  • Second, companies can incorporate or strengthen anonymous feedback channels where employees can voice their concerns and report abusive experiences without fear of retribution
  • Third, organizations need to uphold and enforce fair and ethical norms in all aspects of company life, because employees reflect upon these values before deciding whether to stand up to abuse or not

In all, by raising awareness about the costs for perpetrators and by constantly communicating fair values and norms that empower employees to speak up, we might be able to say that “Time’s Up for Toxic Workplaces.”


Career Contessa indicates that “A toxic work environment is more than just a job you “hate.”  We all have bad Mondays, challenging weeks, and even disappointing months. That’s the cyclical nature of a career. However, you’re typically able to make it through a bad Monday, survive a challenging week, and learn valuable lessons from a disappointing quarter. 

A toxic work environment is like having all of these challenges on repeat, without a break. Toxic work environments breed unrest, competition, low morale, constant stressors, negativity, sickness, high turnover, and even bullying. Even worse? Toxic workplaces rarely stay at work. They typically follow you home. They take over your conversations with loved ones, steal away much-needed sleep, and generally cause worry and stress. Toxic workplaces can lead to stress, burnout, and serious disruptions in your normal life. 

So, if you landed on this article because you’re wondering if your work problems are the result of generalized work stress or something worse, let’s dive into ten signs your workplace might actually be toxic. If any of these look familiar, it’s time for your workplace to shape up—or for you to think about finding a healthier place to work. 

  • Bad communication
  • Cliques, exclusion and gossip behaviour 
  • Bad leadership
  • Unmotivated co-workers
  • Stifled growth
  • Rapid employee turnover
  • No work life balance
  • You are battling burnout
  • Little or no forward movement
  • A gut feeling that things aren’t right

In addition, think toxicity “doesn’t happen” when you’re working from home? Think again! Just because you’re not face-to-face with your co-workers, a particularly toxic boss, or an overwhelming work culture does not mean that toxicity vanishes into thin air. If your brick-and-mortar office was toxic, then it’s likely that the same toxic behaviours will find a way to root their way into your work from home situation. It’s best to be as aware as possible.


My blog shows “How to Deal with Bullying.” We live in a stressful world and on top of that, bullying can show its ugly head in various forms, some obvious, others not so obvious. Whatever the form, there is no place for bullying, it creates toxic work environments, bosses run their own agendas and people suffer. Issues that may arise through bullying need to be addressed to ensure people are accountable for their actions.

ONE act of KINDNESS WILL make a difference

My Kindness and Courage Movement blog highlights how bullying effected my family. The day my 13 year old daughter Abby came home from school in tears because her best friend started bullying her was a day I will never forget. Her story is not uncommon. In turn, even today we hear many stories of bullying and poor leadership – and the impact it has on people’s lives, mental health, families, businesses and so forth.

In turn, we hear so many stories of poor leadership in the news and media and this impacts how our future generations see and feel about leadership. Also, there are lots of great leaders out there and we need to share their stories and celebrate their leadership. This is why we are on this movement to build a world of courageous and kind leadership. We know without a doubt that courageous leadership inspires action. We know kindness builds trust which is the missing link for Executives today. This is why in our leadership work, programs, awards and coaching it is a fundamental focus as we have seen the transformation.

The impact on kind and courageous leadership does not only make a difference at work but in every aspect of our lives. We need our children to see that as fast as the world is changing and as scary it seems, that we are all human and there is hope. It takes kindness, leadership and courage. Remember we can be strong as leaders and show kindness. We can be courageous as leaders and show fear. We can all be leaders without the title or role. It’s an attitude, choice and action. It only takes one act of intentional kindness and courage to make a difference.

TOXITY is OUT withNEW LEVELS of Leadership!

Improving your skills as a leader is very important, so I am here to support you for your next level of success through three leadership opportunities:

1.    Book your Seat for the Courage Conference! Tickets start from ONLY $147

2.    Coaching helps leaders go from good to exceptional. Coaching conversations:

  • build self-awareness
  • uncover hidden strengths and limiting beliefs
  • offer new perspectives
  • evoke insight
  • support goal-setting, accountability and achievement
  • improve communication, and
  • enhance performance

Book a FREE discovery session 

3.    LeadershipHQ’s Online Self-Paced Program ONLY $697 (RRP $1495)

Only $697 with a 14 Day Money Back Guarantee! Join 1000’s of people across the Globe who have transformed their confidence and leadership.

4. Outstanding Leadership Awards 2021/2022 – Nominate Today!

And, remember, Leadership starts from within, so grab my latest book FIRST COMES COURAGE!

Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x

leadership course

leadership course free trial online

leadership course harvard business school

leadership courses for managers

Leadership membership

Executive pivot

Courage lab

Public programs 

Women membership 

Self-paced course

Self-paced program 

Leadership toolkit

Free leadership tools 

basic leadership course

leadership crash course

online leadership course

leadership courses melbourne

leadership courses Sydney

leadership courses Adelaide

leadership courses perth

Leadership programs Queensland 

Leadership programs NSW

Leadership programs Victoria

Leadership coach 

Executive coach 

Leadership advisor 


Team building 

Team performance 

Executive team building 

Leadership micro-credentials 

leadership courses USA

leadership courses new zealand

Motivational speaker

Keynote speaker

Leadership speaker 

Best speaker

Inspirational speaker 

Courageous leadership

Speaker schools

Leadership keynote 

management and leadership course online free trial

leadership skills online course free trial

strategic leadership free online course trial

leadership development programs harvard business school

organizational leadership course

strategic leadership course

leadership training courses for managers

leadership courses for new managers

leadership courses for project managers

leadership courses for middle managers

leadership courses for senior managers

best leadership courses for managers

leadership development program for managers

leadership training program for managers

leadership program for new managers

leadership reaction course events

leadership reaction course manual

leadership reaction course army

leadership reaction course ideas

leadership reaction course answers

leadership reaction course solutions

leadership reaction course ocs

leadership reaction course usmc

basic leadership course requirements

basic leadership course reflective essay

online leadership courses

online leadership courses USA

online leadership courses New Zealand

online leadership courses queensland

online leadership courses free trial

online leadership courses with certificate

online leadership courses for high school students

online leadership courses australia

leadership and management courses online free

leadership training videos online free

free leadership courses online australia

harvard online leadership courses free

free nursing leadership courses online

free online leadership courses for high school students

leadership courses melbourne online

leadership courses melbourne 

leadership training melbourne

leadership programs melbourne

leadership programs USA

womens leadership courses melbourne

womens leadership courses USA

womens leadership courses New Zealand

womens leadership courses sydney

womens leadership courses brisbane

womens leadership courses adelaide

executive leadership courses melbourne

executive leadership courses sydney

executive leadership courses brisbane

executive leadership courses adelaide

leadership development courses sydney

leadership courses workshops sydney

leadership course Sydney

Leadership course USA

Leadership speaker events

Leadership speaker conferences 

leadership coaching course sydney

leadership course north sydney

leadership and management courses sydney

leadership and management short courses