The April 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review has a short item entitled “How Toxic Colleagues Corrode Performance.” The authors polled several thousand managers and employees from a range of American companies. Here’s what they found is the impact of negative and rude behavior in the workplace:

• 48% decreased their work effort
• 47% decreased their time at work
• 38% decreased their work quality
• 66% said their performance declined
• 80% lost work time worrying about the incident
• 63% lost time avoiding the offender, and
• 78% said their commitment to the organization declined.

That’s pretty powerful evidence of the need to deal with “the bad apples” who are pulling others down! I am finding in my workshops that slipping levels of engagement and morale in many organizations makes dealing with toxic people especially critical today.

I’ve been dealing with this problem for many years in my work. If you’re looking for tips and techniques to deal with this growing issue, here’s are a few of my existing resources:

• The March 2004 issue of The Leader Letter is focused on this topic. In “A Reader’s Top Ten Survival Tips for Victimitis,” Terri Waterman provides useful advice.

• Navigating Change and Adversity at . A few of my thoughts on how we respond to life’s storm – whether as Navigators, Survivors, or Victims – as the core determinant of our success and happiness in all elements of our lives. I outline a popular model I use around this concept and provide a video clip of me presenting this model to a large audience.

• Peruse a series of my articles on Attitude and Outlook at

• More recent blog posts on Attitude and Outlook at