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Are You Contributing to a Toxic Work Environment? [Self-Quiz]

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

I've said it before – just because some of us have endured toxic cultures to reach our career goals, doesn’t make doing so a rite of passage for everyone who wants to be a success. If you want to build a strong sense of well-being in your workplace, it all starts with a consistent practice of self-awareness.

To evaluate your leadership mindset and pinpoint where you can improve, here are 10 “True” or “False” questions to help you evaluate how you could be contributing to a toxic workplace and undo any underlying beliefs and habits not aligned with workplace well-being:

  1. I often deprioritize my own self-care, mental health, and personal goals for the sake of my work or team

  2. I reward or think more of people for sacrificing their self-care and personal commitments for the sake of their work. (Or, I punish or think less of people who prioritize themselves over work)

  3. I micromanage or try to control every detail of how something is done rather than delegate with trust and an open mind

  4. I let derogatory comments and jokes slide on my team – whether they occur in an open forum or behind someone’s back

  5. I avoid difficult conversations, make assumptions about people’s behavior, or minimize my vulnerability in front of my team members

  6. I see “taking one for the team” and “wearing a ton of hats” as a positive work ethic that is to be praised and rewarded, even if someone is doing this often and at risk of burning out

  7. I use fear and ultimatums – i.e., “do this or else” – to motivate people

  8. I secretly (or maybe not so secretly) believe that people will do the bare minimum if left unchecked

  9. I am significantly more likely to trust and advocate for someone who is open about their struggle and sacrifice, than for someone who is positive and asks for what they want

  10. I don’t have time to get to know my team members or support their needs and personal goals

If you answered “False” to all of these, you are a pro at standing up for people’s well-being at work through conscious leadership practices. If you answered “True” to any of these questions, think about how you can reverse the statement and make the opposite true going forward.


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Andrea MacKenzie, Founder of Lead With Harmony, is an MBA, multi-certified coach, Kolbe-Certified consultant, and leadership and team-building expert with over 20 years of combined experience in corporate roles and business consulting. Andrea enjoys working with growth-oriented business owners and executives who advocate for the advancement and well-being of the people they serve, hire, and inspire.

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