Home > Empowering Women, Leading Teams > How to Manage the 4 Relationship and Team Toxins?

How to Manage the 4 Relationship and Team Toxins?

Research shows that there are 4 toxins that effect our relationships – whether at work or at home. We all behave toxically occasionally. But if the behavior is present more than it’s not, it can greatly damage. If you notice that they’re present, it’s the first step.

A simple exercise that I’ve used with women groups, individuals and teams helps people to become aware of toxic behaviors that are around them. How it effects them? What is a behavior they automatically go to? How it impacts others? What other behaviors can be substituted?

The first step is understanding and feeling what the toxins are:
– Blame (or Criticism)
– Defensiveness
– Contempt
– Stonewalling

Try it for yourself.

  1. Imagine that you are in one of the four toxic places like Blame.  Think of how it effects you? What is said? What do you feel? How do you react? Feel it in your body… 
  2. For each of the other toxic behaviors (Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling), think of effects and ask the questions.  Feel how it is to be in each of the four toxic places.
  3. Which one is the most potent for you? Why?
  4. How do you react to each?
  5. With your new awareness, what can be an anecdote? How else can you respond to toxic interaction?

Next time you’re in a toxic situation, remember the feeling in you. What can you do to maintain your adult self?


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