The Soft Answer

Verbal T'ai Chi for sociable self-defense

toxic coworkers

"Toxic" employees hurt everyone

Research out of Harvard Business School as reported in the Harvard Gazette: Beware those toxic co-workers;
Study says they undercut groups in destructive, expensive ways.
The study shows that, even if a person is a top performer, if they present as a bully or inappropriately aggressive, they cost a company a whole lot more than they bring in, and can be a drag on the entire organization. 

You'd think HR departments would screen for this and have a ready solution. But, because people who habitually engage in selfish, abusive and destructive behavior are often also top performers, companies still hire them and keep them, unaware of the extensive collateral damage these "toxic" workers inflict on the business as a whole.

It seems to us that training people to disempower the toxic behaviors of others around them, while helping transgressors to improve their interpersonal skills (thus giving them a graceful way out), would serve as a two-pronged remedy to the ubiquitous problem of toxic behavior in the workplace.

After all, it's not really the people who are toxic, it's their behavior. Turn that around, teach the top performer the joys of collaboration and socialization, and these drags on the company may become assets.

Implementing a Soft Answer Verbal T'ai Chi program may be a cost effective way to accomplish this.