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Perception Determines Reality: Responding to Workplace Toxicity

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Our perceptions are our reality and at the same time the sum of our individual experiences. Hence, how some people perform at their peak level performance in toxic, culture-eroded environments and others don’t. Don’t be fooled either, because most of us leave these less than stellar (psychologically-speaking) working experiences off our CV’s. I know I have and that includes a few clients whom I consulted for. I guess what I’m saying is, the suck is real - and personal resilience either takes being in the whirlwind of it to recognize it’s not for you or being the solution finder who remembers the experience is being shaded by all those that came before it, both yours and the perpetrator’s.

I’m Lori and have 15 years of corporate experience and another 20+ in strategic consulting. My partner Kate (who worked at Fox for 20+ years) and I have our fair share of experience in both the centrifugal force of a working environment gone bad and the resources of much education and experience in identifying areas of homeostasis & balance. Turning around a toxic environment begins inside the mind of those whose reality it is. From mindset techniques to remembering the truth without all the side-commentary, recognizing that we are all in our own little world’s of belief systems and experience is both a curse AND a gift.

First the curse. Damn, it stinks to be treated as though you are not a valuable member of a team or department. It hurts to have your confidence demeaned by a bully or be harassed by someone who is so scared about their own survival that they treat you as the perpetrator of their every source of frustration and failing. No matter the reason, this angry, unhappy, unsettled energy plants itself in every meeting (remote or otherwise) and no matter how optimistic you show up, resonates with intention to everyone present. Basically, a tornado of negativity until there seems no hope.

Now the gift. This universe projects itself in all ways always. When we are having insults hurled at us from all directions we are simultaneously flying through space at a speed we cannot comprehend in a galaxy of rules and regs like gravity. Have you seen how human reproduction even happens? It’s a wonder any of us are even here! Yet we are, each here having our own unique experience as a result of our beliefs and sum of our experiences. If, for a moment, you can reach beyond the acute scenario of a dissonant team or the threat of being laid off or worse, a tense, temper-filled workplace in which you can do no right - and remember the truth of who you are and what an accomplished human being you are, you will remember to see that in others…even when they are humiliating you and themselves in a zoom room.

From victim to leader is just a matter of resetting the way you observe and respond to the opportunity unfolding in front of you. Victims engage and react. Refusing to accept the energy of the harasser is your prerogative.

Inspired Action at Work is our playground where we have created and assembled techniques, resources, action items, and successful outcomes for happy workplaces and more productivity and higher ROI. During this time of great uncertainty and fear, aligning with sides and philosophies and FEAR creates experiences of the reactive. Inspired Action at Work will deescalate cultural corrosion and create a workplace, remote or otherwise, that breeds an altruistic trust and loyalty, togetherness - a safe space for working for a better outcome. Contact us today at to receive our One Sheet or call us at (646) 462-2161 to set up a consultation to see how we can help you turn your workplace culture around. .462.2161

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