Toxicity | Personal | Eduardo Cortes


Now that a lot of us are seniors and are graduating college to pursue a professional career path, we must be able to consider our attitudes and take an outsider's look at the way we work. (Basically, we have to be willing to critique ourselves). In addition, we will soon be working alongside other designers that may have conflicting opinions and other ways of doing things in contrast to ourselves. We will be working with these people for an extended period of time and I believe our functionality depends on the atmosphere in which we are surrounded.

During tonight's class, Greg talked about some rules we should follow while on the job in order to carry out a standard of professionalism. Unfortunately I, as well as many of my peers, have had the experience of working with and alongside individuals who do not follow these standards of professionalism. And I have come to refer to these individuals as "toxic" people. Toxic people are individuals who can literally and figuratively make you sick at work. We all know these people and have come across them throughout our professional and personal lives. They are the teachers, bosses, co-workers, and employees that can give you the proverbial "pain in the neck". In my opinion, these people do not follow the standard of professionalism that we as a class have been taught.

For example, I have recently been in a work environment with someone I will refer to as a "know-it-all". I believe we all know this type of person; this is the person who talks as if they know everything about every topic that exists in the history of man. Personally, I think that these individuals should be confronted about their bad behavior. How I've learned to adapt is to stop these people by giving them some sort of recognition, but at the same time ask them clarifying questions to ultimately expose the incorrect issues they bring up. That way they can come to understand that they don't have all the answers and there are other ways to go about solving problems. Other toxic individuals that could potentially harm the work environment are whiners, individuals who always seem to have a negative outlook, and individuals that solely look for attention seeking opportunities.

I think that no matter what we will have to coexist with these types of people, but I also believe that it is our duty to try to alter their negative habits into more constructive ones. As I stated before, you can learn to adapt to a "know-it-all" by giving them recognition, but at the same time asking them to the clarify questions you may have about their topic. We must not only come to know how to work with these individuals, but also how to help them in the long run as well. Basically, it's an integral part of life to work amongst individuals who operate differently than us. And help them when their behavior is becoming a nuisance in the workplace.


You sound as though you have quite a bit of experience with these 'know-it-alls'. No matter what profession we are in, it is very important to understand group dynamics. Learning how do deal with toxic people is a valuable life skill in general. I think that a lot of us in the graphic design program get along fairly well, but I think its healthy to come across some conflict both in behavior and design styles.

I think what you wrote particularly rings true for me, as someone who works in a toxic work environment (and has helped contribute to it). I think being able to recognize these things and that you yourself might be doing them is really important. I personally have tried to stop myself as soon as I start doing any of the things that help foster a toxic environment, and I have noticed it's been really effective. People react better to how I'm dealing with situations in a more mature manner, and it's been much easier to work together as a whole.

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This page contains a single entry by corte027 published on December 3, 2010 1:29 AM.

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