Toxic Workplace! Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power

Author(s): Mitchell Kusy

Work/Career/Management | Supervision

This is the systems antidote to 'poison' personalities in the workplace. Most leaders have experienced the frustration and confusion of dealing with an extremely difficult person - an individual who debilitates individuals, teams, and even organizations.

Based on the authors' two-year national research study of 500 leaders, Toxic Workplace! tackles the underlying systems issues that enable toxic people to create a path of destruction, often for a long time, at the cost of talent as well as productivity. The authors show the warning signs of a serious behavioral problem, how toxicity spreads, and ultimately its effects, providing very specific actions that leaders can take to reduce both the intensity and frequency of toxic personalities at work and create communities of respectful engagement. 


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Mitchell Kusy, PhD, is a consultant and full professor in the graduate program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. A 2005 Fulbright Scholar in international organization development, Dr. Kusy consults globally in strategic planning, leadership development, 360-degree feedback, organization development, and designing organizational communities of respectful engagement. He is a visiting professor at several universities internationally. Elizabeth Holloway, PhD, is a consultant and full professor in the graduate program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. A Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology and Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Holloway has had more than 25 years' experience as a practitioner, educator, and consultant with organizations, groups, and mental health clients. She consults globally on system approaches to mentoring, coaching, and creating organizational communities of respectful engagement.

Part One: Understanding Toxic People and Toxic Environments. 1. The Human and Financial Costs of Working with Toxic People: Toxic Behaviors Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg. 2. Recognizing the Toxic Personality: It Isn't as Easy as You Think. 3. Leader Reactions and Strategies That Typically Don'tWork: Why Identify Strategies That Don't Work? 4. Organizational Culture: How Toxicity Spreads Like an Infection. Part Two: The Toxic Organization Change System Model. 5. Organizational Strategies: Dealing with Toxicity at the Highest System Level. 6. Team Strategies: Dealing with Toxicity at the Team Level. 7. Individual Strategies: Dealing with Toxic People One-on-One. 8. Myths and Truths About Toxicity-and Renewal from a Toxic Environment: How to Move Beyond Toxicity. Appendix A: Our Research Methodology. Appendix B: National Survey Responses on Toxic Behaviors. Notes. The Authors. Index.

General Fields

  • : 9780470424841
  • : John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • : Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S.
  • : April 2009
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Mitchell Kusy
  • : Hardback
  • : 658.3045
  • : 256
  • : Illustrations