How to Deal with Toxic Workplaces : Employee Self tips on Mental Toughness

21 Nov

How to Deal with Toxic Workplaces : Employee Self tips on Mental Toughness

Workplace stress can be severe due to workplace changes, mergers and acquisitions, organizational changes, a missed promotion, an unforeseen demotion, bullying, conflicts with colleagues or broken employee-employer relationships.

At one point in our working lives or career we all experience this, but it is our response to these situations and having a positive healthy mindset and attitude that can change the tide, combined with a willingness to seek help if things get really tough.

If you are an individual or employee suffering from the negative impact of a toxic team some of these steps may help you in your journey.

Here are few of the coping techniques that really work and have been tried and tested!

1. Find a higher Purpose
One of the first things is to promise yourself not to give up. There is a higher goal. You might find higher purpose at home or in a community like in sport and charities. My higher purpose is my family, my daughter and my work at wattsnext!

2.  Connect an anchor to your purpose
You can change your state of mind or mood using the techniques of anchoring. Usually I do this by keeping work and life separated. In tough moments look at what makes you happy and what keeps you going. Sometimes I do that by looking at a photo of my daughter and smiling as a reminder to keep a positive mindset.

3. Keep perspective
Be aware, acknowledge it and then try to keep it in perspective.

4. Don’t make it personal
The people you are having a disagreement with represent a business. In your view, they might be incredibly incapable, dishonest and unfair, however they might not even personally dislike you. Think of them as people with family and friends. Try to understand and feel empathy for them.

5. Activate your social environment

6. Nurture Yourself
The situation might take a while, so take care of yourself.

7. Practice Mindfulness
Although I didn’t previously use meditation or practice mindfulness during difficult periods, I would recommend it now. I now use the app Smiling Mind to practice Mindfulness.

8. Controlled Distraction
By concentrating on something else you can you can distract your thoughts from negative situations. I used to play very loud music from Muse in my car when driving to and from work.

9. Keep your sense of humour
If you don’t have a great sense of humour, don’t worry about it.  People say I have a very dry sense of humour, but take the point that you have to keep on laughing regularly. This is also a form of controlled distraction.

10. Build your mastery
You are good at something, everybody is. Keep doing it and start doing more of it. Or start to learn something new, something you always wanted to do. Building mastery gives you fulfilment and if you’re lucky gets you in a state of ‘Flow’, a period where time seems to disappear.
We do a lot of that here at wattsnext and every day we each learn something new and share those precious learnings!

11. Make affirmations
Affirmations are short statements that mean something to you and can build your self-worth and confidence to deal with things.
Think about what is important to you, what you’re good at and what you have achieved. Some of mine; ‘I’m good in what I’m doing’, ‘I have worked for the world’s largest companies that appreciated my skills’, ‘I’ve hundreds of people following my blogs’… Well, maybe not yet for me, but I am learning every day ‘I can make a difference’.

12. Self-Talk
Although affirmations are used to increase your self-worth, self-talk can be used at the moment of performance under stress. Self-talk is widely and successfully used in sport and there is growing evidence that his has a major impact on how we approach tasks and challenges.

13. Work on Plan B
Ask yourself; ‘what am I going to do after this?’ and ‘what can I do about that now?’ If possible, combine your purpose and mastery with your next step. Activate your business network.

14.  If all else fails, ask for help
Finally, and possibly most importantly, when you feel you can’t cope anymore, ask for help. If there is an EAP employee help line, call them, or use another professional to have a chat with.

These same steps can also be applied to businesses.  If you are a business and find that sometimes you just need that extra perspective and a helping hand contact us @wattssnexthr and our team will be delighted to assist.  Our team come from very diverse backgrounds and are experts in their own fields from ER, IR, Generalist HR, Mediation and Conflict Resolution/EAP, Diversity, Change, OD and LnD space so don’t be afraid to reach out and remember, be kind to yourself.


Tamara Bloyce , HR Strategist

Tamara has a proven track record of designing innovative People and Capability strategies and raising the bar in advancing organizational excellence. Tamara brings 16 years of expertise in international markets and is a commercially minded, business partner focused HR Consultant. She also has a strong background in Organisational Psychology, Diversity and Mediation

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