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Are you dealing with a toxic work situation?

We've written recently about numerous issues that could cause legal implications in the workplace, but what if you are simply dealing with a toxic environment? Toxic situations can be extremely difficult to stomach on a daily basis, because sometimes you can't see any options for dealing with the situation. In some cases, the environment is extremely negative without ever crossing the line into harassment or discrimination, which means you might not have the legal options we can offer in such cases.

At the same time, most people simply can't walk out on a job because the environment is toxic or stressing. In many cases, the best advice is often to search for another job, but while you wait for leads to materialize or your supervisor to handle the situation, you also need to safeguard your career.

A first step in dealing with a toxic environment in the workplace is to recognize it for what it is. A truly toxic environment has to do with one or more of the other people and how they deal with situations, treat you or react to pressure. It does not have to do with your worth as either a person or an employee, and it's important to realize that or you might deal with confidence issues or begin to think the toxicity is somehow your fault.

Next, you'll need to find ways to deal with the environment without becoming part of it. Don't succumb to negativity or poor behavior just because everyone around you is. When possible, be the better example -- sometimes that actually helps to improve the situation. If you do think you are being harassed or discriminated against and the situation is more than just negative, then reach out to an employment lawyer for more information about your options.

Source: Forbes, "Coping In A Toxic Work Environment," Amy Rees Anderson, accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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