What do I do if I'm the toxic team member? I took the BizQuiz at http://dvm360.com/toxicteam and I think I'm the perfectionist who might drive co-workers a little nutty.
—TOXIC IN TRAINING
I know it sounds trite, but even acknowledging that you might be the toxic problem is half of the battle. One of the symptoms
of toxic personalities is the absolute unwillingness to take responsibility for the chaos that they cause. You might not be
toxic, but perhaps you display some toxic behaviors. There is hope.
What you need is a personal learning agenda to improve your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a measurement
of our awareness and understanding of the impact we have on other people at work and everywhere else. Begin with trying to
be more self-aware and asking others to give you feedback about how you're affecting them. Tell them you want to improve your
working skills and social skills and you need their help. From that foundation of self-awareness, work to change your behavior
when you feel your temperature rise emotionally. How we respond in the heat of the moment is the test of our emotional intelligence
growth. Use that challenge to improve your empathy for others who are challenged to behave better. That empathy will lead
you to a better overall effect on your colleagues in the workplace. Good luck!
Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics editorial advisory boards and is CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Chicago. For videos and articles containing more of
McVey's tips and tricks on issues relating to veterinary personnel management, conflict, and communication, visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey.