Surviving the Toxic Workplace

By Dr. Linnda Durré
McGraw-Hill (2010)
Reviewed by Ambassadors Magazine Staff


This is the latest book of American business consultant, columnist, writer, corporate trainer, and international speaker, Dr. Linnda Durré, PhD, breaking down dozens of common toxic personalities whom one can meet in different workplaces: from the smiling cobra to the naysayer and from the brownnoser to the non-PC joke-teller. She has appeared on Oprah, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Daytime, and Good Morning America and has written for Forbes, Orlando Business Journal, and American City Business Journals.

In the book. she says we have the power to change the dynamics of a dysfunctional workplace by altering their own approach to dealing with difficult and annoying people. she says "my book is to empower people to be diplomatic and assertive and to approach coworker and bosses in as diplomatic a way as possible to get them to stop doing annoying and inappropriate behavior. "People are frightened, they need the job and they have kids in college, they have mouths to feed and they have mortgage and rent payment, gasoline, food etc"

The book explains how to cope with different poisonous coworkers. At best it should make most people grateful they do not work in a toxic environment. At worst it could be a wake-up call for those who have put up with extraordinary abuse, have come to think of it as normal, and might find this checklist approach to toxic environments helpful. 

The Smiling Cobra

This is one of the most dangerous toxic types, she is a powermonger who smiles while she stabs you in the back. She gets ahead on goodlooks, charm and streetsmarts but is extremely manipulative and steps on everyone along the way. she has no consciense. If you confront her, she probably not change and will likely strike back at you. there are the violent ones.

When she was asked what is the most harmful of the toxic types, she answered the Violent one because, he can kill people.

Everyone has to be careful with people who have anger management problems.Also the sexual harasser is very very dangerous. The smiling cobra is also passive aggressive. The dictator that does not listen is also very exhaustive and problematic.

The Naysayer

Even when everything is going well, the naysayer will bring everyone down with a negative comment as a spoiler and doomsday predictor. they relish when things go wrong because it confirms their negative worldview.





The Disgusting One

Perhaps more annoying than other toxic personalities who can drive people crazy with naueating habits, picks nose, is gassy, chews with mouth open, never learned good manners.




The Rockstar and Actor

They act as if they are gracing your company with their presence. To them, work is only their dayjob as they plan for stardom. This person is a narcissist and it is best to confront them and be direct and not bask in their artificial glow.

Dr, Durré  is convinced that good bosses are like good parents, they are good supervisors and teachers. They inspire and set the bar high and listen and give feedback, mould behavior and reward. So it is a combination of all those qualities: reward, love, care, guidance, discipline, and criticism.

Linnda Durré mentions that every circumstance is different and unique. "If you are crying everyday before you go to work, if you are hitting the booze during lunch, when you come home to numb yourself, if you are screaming and yelling at people, striking out at your spouse and children, then these are signs you might be in a state of depression.You're a powderkeg ready to explode. You need to get into counselling, look for another job or other sources of income. You should not be dependent of people who have power of you and abuse it."

As one Amazon reviewer of this book said, "there are ways to deal with the toxic workplace that can greatly enhance anyone's survival skills, and Linnda Durre has compiled this wonderful handbook to help guide us in the right direction. The key to success is simply using good communication skills, compiling detailed documentation of any significant events, as well as maintaining a positive and assertive attitude to accomplish your goals. They added, "Whether you're an entry level employee, a middle manager, or the CEO, you'll greatly benefit from reading and heeding the author's advice; it could well be the most significant book you'll encounter this year, especially if you're trying to prolong your career or improve your company's bottom line."