10 Questions That Expose Toxic People

The deadliest person on your team is a high performing toxic person.

Toxic people:

  1. Brag about using power and manipulation to get what they want out of others.
  2. Blame you when they offend you. Somehow it’s your fault that they offended you.
  3. Expect you to help them, but don’t have time to help you.
  4. Need you to keep secrets. Secrets create toxic environments.
  5. Interrupt when you’re talking.
  6. Resent showing honor to ‘underlings’. Toxic bosses expect honor, but seldom give honor.
  7. Expect special treatment.
  8. Complain about others. Toxic people seldom have anything good to say about anyone except themselves. 
  9. Put you on your heels. Toxic people make you feel defensive.
  10. Seldom apologize. Toxic people have lots of expectations for you.

10 questions that expose toxic people:

  1. What are you learning?
  2. How many people have you helped earn promotions?
  3. Tell me about one of your failures.
  4. What have you learned from failure?
  5. When was the last time you apologized? What did you say?
  6. Who have you recently helped? What did you do that was helpful?
  7. When were you wrong?
  8. When was the last time you changed your mind?
  9. What percentage of your time is spent listening? Talking?
  10. When did you last say thank you?

5 projects for the toxic:

Some are toxic out of ignorance or incompetence.

Projects help those who commit to growth and development.

  1. Gratitude projects.
  2. Seeing strength projects. List the top three strengths of everyone on the team, for example.
  3. Honoring projects. Use the above list as an opportunity to show honor.
  4. Listening projects. Don’t use the word “I” when listening, for example.
  5. Helping projects. Show up to help a team member at least once a day.

Humble a toxic person with accountability. Have hope if they respond well.

Tolerance is deadly when it comes to toxicity.

Who do you think is the deadliest person on a team?

How might leaders deal with toxic people?