You’re judged by the company you keep - especially at work. So, here are the three 3 types of toxic coworkers to avoid, in order to maintain your sanity, and your good reputation:

#1: Complainers. Career coach Michelle Riklan says that people who grouse about every little thing drag down office morale, and lower the productivity of everybody within earshot. That’s because negativity is contagious. If your job requires you to interact with a chronic complainer, try this: Ignore their comments and don’t ask leading questions, like “How’s it going?” Instead, inject positivity by saying, “What a great day!"

Another bad-apple employee: The Gossip. Peggy Klaus is the author of The Hard Truth About Soft Skills. And she says that if you hang out with the office gossip, your coworkers will assume that you’re gossiping, too. And that can lead to mistrust and resentment. So what do you do if you’re roped into a conversation with the office gossip? Disagree with it right away. If someone says, “I hear Justin takes naps under his desk!” You say, “I know he meets every deadline.”

It takes courage to disagree – and that’s why it works. Because once someone makes a statement, there’s tremendous pressure to avoid conflict and agree. By disagreeing, you stop the conversation from escalating because it forces the other person to contradict you, which most people won’t do.

And finally, steer clear of: The Chatterbox. A lot of companies are trying to do more with fewer workers. Which means, the last thing you need is to let someone eat up your time with idle chitchat. If you can't totally avoid the chatterbox, listen for a minute, then say something like: “I'm sorry I have to cut this short, I have a lot of work to do, and I really want to do a good job. Can we catch up on my lunch break?”

Lesson Expert

Mike Christian

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