Tips on how to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic Workplace

Tips on how to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic Workplace


Organisational culture can be defined simply as ‘the way we do things around here’. It speaks to the tried and tested or well-established ways of doing things in the organisation.

There are varying types of organisational cultures. These include a rigid culture, optimistic culture, integrated culture, and inspired culture. The one type of culture that you don’t want to be part of, and that happens to be quite common, is the toxic organisational culture.


  • Don’t talk behind others’ backs; it will come back to bite you.
  • Don’t create mistrust. Stand in your integrity at all times.
  • Don’t gossip, even when the story is juicy, especially when it is juicy.
  • Don’t encourage gossip by listening to it.
  • Never assume that you are always right.


  • Greet more. A good cheerful Hello will not hurt your vibe
  • Smile genuinely, be positively infectious.
  • Walk your talk, especially in the corridor.
  • Actively discourage gossip by practically walking away from it.
  • Remember, whoever gossips to you also gossips about you.
  • Be assertive in a positive way by stating your truth, but remember that truth is relative. Hang on lightly enough to let go and latch on to new ‘truths’ supported by new evidence.

Remember that minds are like parachutes… they work better when they are open.

Dr. Dumisani Magadlela
Dr Dumisani Magadlela is a certified international executive coach, coach trainer and leadership development facilitator. He’s trained in gestalt International Organisational Systems Development (IOSD) and uses emotional intelligence and ubuntu principles and practices to ignite human excellence within organisations. Magadlela has been helping organisations develop dynamic and high-performance cultures for many years, focusing on (individual and collective) leadership behaviours and values. He recently co-edited a journal on African coaching.