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The Toxic Workplace And The Role Of Leadership

Written by: Reem Borrows, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How do you avoid toxicity in the workplace? It starts with leadership.

Facing toxic behaviors in the workplace has a harmful effect on mood, motivation, and self-esteem, and any work culture where toxicity exists has failed its employees, values, and vision. Leaders must follow steps to prevent behaviors that negatively affect culture, morale, and motivation. Any toxic behaviors, including toxic masculinity, are unacceptable in the workplace, and there are steps that leaders must use to ensure that toxicity is eradicated.

What do toxic behaviors look like?

According to Forbes, there are a number of signs to look for to identify whether a workplace demonstrates and even promotes toxic behaviors.

This can include a culture where people don’t communicate, smile, joke, reinforce and support each other. Triumphs and extraordinary efforts won’t be recognized, while even the most minor infractions will always result in stern punishments. This is built from narcissistic leadership that discourages a positive team environment.

It can also be identified through the relationship between managers and employees. Sometimes the disconnect is so clear that they will be separated into two groups, only interacting when managers are telling employees what to do. Members of the workplace on the lower end of the hierarchy will rarely have the opportunity to effect change and bring ideas to the table.

Build your culture around positivity

Toxicity is only possible through an absence of support, love, and encouragement in your environment. As a leader, it is crucial to preserve an uplifting and inspiring environment through your reactions to problems that occur, and your focus and commitment to your individual and team goals.

When you display a positive attitude in your workplace, that demeanor has a strong influence on those around you. The easiest way to constantly promote a positive attitude towards others and within yourself is to show gratitude. Being grateful and showing gratitude for everything you have big and small trains your brain to see more of the good in the world.

As well as this, it should go without saying that there should be zero tolerance for workplace bullying, harassment, and intimidation.

As a leader, your opinion is important, and your approval can mean a great deal to those around you. The simple act of complimenting the people around you, even for the smallest of victories, can make a massive impact on their mood and motivation.

Encourage your employees to look at the bigger picture by setting goals and making sure each person has a part to play in the success of your organization. When hardships arrive, an optimistic mindset stimulates the productivity required to solve tough problems.

Great leadership puts an end to toxic behaviors quickly

When there is a focus put on the success of your employees and the encouragement of a positive culture, a toxic workplace cannot be maintained.

Align the team with all the tools to succeed towards their goals, and provide the necessary coaching, support, and motivation to make it a journey that is mutually beneficial for everyone in the organization.

To develop your leadership capabilities, tune in to the Leaders, Leading Leaders with Reem Borrows podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast, and visit to begin achieving your dreams.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or visit my website for more info!


Reem Borrows, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Reem Borrows, the founder of Dreem Coaching and Consulting, facilitates change for meaningful growth. For over 20 years, Reem worked in Senior Leadership Roles, leading and developing effective teams and individuals across the areas of Sales, Marketing, and Training. Today, she uses her knowledge and expertise to help people realize their full potential in both business and personal goals. Reem’s authenticity as a leader, her business acumen, mindset development strategies, and her dedication to achieving results are the foundation of her work. She cultivates the principles, strategies, execution plans, and fundamentals of a winning mindset. She has a passion for helping people find their true calling so they can unleash their inner power. Reem focuses on helping her clients grow exponentially with Balance, Focus, and Flow. Her services are the helpful current that pushes clients in the right direction and provides them with the structure they need to make vital progress with results that stick.



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