Your colleagues are trying to use others, not giving anything in return? They steal other people’s ideas, attribute the merits of the team, hide the information and always pull the blanket over themselves? Here’s how it is worth behaving with such “consumers”.

It is believed that difficult to communicate, aggressive and selfish people are an integral part of life. Inevitable, like, say, rain or snow. But such employees have a toxic effect on the team. They use others to achieve their own goals and, as a result, create an atmosphere of alertness, fear and even paranoia in the team.

The good news is that most of the team is “correlators” – those who strive for “mutually beneficial exchange”: there are about 56% in their offices. In addition to them, there are “donors”. They generously support colleagues and offer help, demanding anything in return. There are approximately 25% of such employees.

“Consumers” are only 19%, but one of them may be in your team, and their negative impact on the corporate culture will be 2-3 times stronger than the positive influence of correlators and donors. One single consumer in the team is able to destroy the atmosphere of trust.

Successful consumers are good pretensors. They depict agreement, demonstrate warmth, politeness and friendliness

People begin to behave as consumers, because they doubt the good intentions of colleagues, become suspicious and do not trust anyone. But the trouble is that such an attitude is contagious and can hit the whole team. Even generous donors stop helping others if they

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feel that they work among the “wolves”. Nobody wants to be constantly used.

When searching for employees, you spend a lot of time choosing the right people, but it is much more important to learn how to get rid of the wrong people in time before they do serious harm to the company.

At the same time, consumers are not so easy to recognize: they skillfully pretend that they act from the best motives. Successful consumers are good pretensors. They depict agreement, demonstrate warmth, politeness and friendliness. When they try to deceive goals, we can even take them for donors.

Here are a few strategies that will help to cope with the toxic attitude of consumers before going to extreme measures and dismiss them.

1. Look for positive points. People are rarely used by one hundred percent consumers. Perhaps their consumer attitude is applied only to work: once long ago they decided that this is the only way to win in the competition.

Observe them. In what situations they are less selfish and ready to share? A colleague enthusiastically talks about computers? Surely he will not refuse to help to understand the new program or connect the printer.

2. Hint an employee that he has a consumer reputation. Perhaps this will force a colleague to reconsider his behavior. If you are a boss, you can openly talk with him about his toxic behavior and take time to change.

3. Be objective. Do not encourage selfish behavior, but you also do not need to expect from all colleagues of selflessness. The correlators can also be unbearable, demanding an immediate “reckoning” for their services, information or assistance. And even donors are far from perfect: often they consider their behavior the only true and want everyone around them to meet their high standards. This makes them too tough and critical.

Yes, there are no perfect employees. But a strong leader is able to rally a team consisting of a variety of people.

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