Common Signs You Have a Toxic Team Member

Adriana Girdler

Think you might have a toxic team member? Here’s how to know (and what to do!) There’s a big difference between a difficult team member …

Think you might have a toxic team member? Here’s how to know (and what to do!)

There’s a big difference between a difficult team member and a toxic team member, and it’s important to understand that difference. Here are the biggest red flags of toxic team members that everyone who works on a team should be able to identify!

  1. They’re just rude

We’ve all had encounters with rude people. Sometimes, they’re not trying to be rude but might just struggle to communicate things well.

But when it happens consistently, that might be a problem. When people are rude, disrespectful, and condescending, that is a definite red flag of a toxic team member.

Part of good collaboration on a team is being respectful, especially towards your other team members.

One way you can nip this in the bud is to simply address rude comments when they happen to encourage better understanding and communication.

  1. They take credit for your accomplishments

When you’re in a team, you’re supposed to be working together. It’s a collaboration of everyone doing work together, and one person’s task often feeds into the next person’s task to create the end result.

When someone’s taking credit for the work other people are doing, that’s a toxic trait because it shows that they are wanting all the glory for the accomplishment of what’s happening on the project. It tells you that the person is only thinking of themselves and potentially even has an agenda in mind for their own benefit.

More signs of toxic team members

If you think you might have a toxic team member and you want to know some other red flags to look out for, make sure you head over to YouTube with me to watch my new video where I dive deep into a few more red flags of toxic coworkers so that you can learn to handle those people better.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to fostering a positive and collaborative team so you can have more successful projects, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project including how to navigate team dynamics. Plus, you get access to every template you will need along the way, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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