You may see a lot of different definitions of a toxic work environment if you search on the internet. Some people do not even believe toxic work environments exist. I do.
This is my definition: A toxic work environment exists anytime I am tolerating behavior I don't want to tolerate. This is especially true if I am tolerating it because of fear.
I know from my own experience that it can seem terrifying when people act disrespectfully at work. We spend more than half of our waking hours at work, usually. When we are tolerating behavior we don't want to tolerate, it can completely take over everything we think about and our entire experience of life.
It is never NEVER necessary to tolerate any behavior we don't want to tolerate.
If that sounds totally crazy to you, I get it. I was raised that especially women have to tolerate disrespect, but I found out that is not true, and it changed my whole world.
I went from being harassed and afraid every day to being a leader in my career.
I went from seeing myself as a child and inexperienced to seeing myself as the most reliable person in most rooms.
I went from feeling stuck in a toxic work environment to starting my dream business.
I went from managing panic attacks to helping other women live their best lives.
Even if that doesn't seem totally possible for you right now, does it at least sound interesting? Every month I work with a small handful of women to shift power dynamics and stop toxic environments. If you know things need to change at your work, let's talk. Don't let things get worse.
Take this quiz to find out if your work environment is healthy or toxic.