Some work environments are brutal macho bear pits. In such environments alpha males and females slog it out intellectually and emotionally. The cover story is that ” we encourage a competitive winning spirit”. The sub text is “do unto others before they do it to you”. There is so much cutting and thrusting that no one trusts each other. Even a pat on the back is seen as an early check to establish which rib to slip the stiletto knife under.
How do you survive in such a war zone?
Firstly remember that the leader sets the tone. They are the first ones who must change and must want to change to build a creative high performing workplace.
We know that high stress environments like this generate too much adrenaline and cortisol. The fight of flight parts of our brains are activated and people’s intelligence drops 20% in the fear fuelled boiling pot.
Don’t get out of the pot if you are the leader; change the temperature. Make it an environment where you look for other’s talents. Catch people doing things RIGHT. Remember the motto “if it’s going to be; it’s up to me”. You set the leadership tone.