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Surviving (Even Thriving?) in a Toxic Workplace

White, Paul E.; Schoonover-Shoffner, Kathy

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000289
Feature: CE Connection

ABSTRACT: Anything toxic is poisonous and harmful—including a toxic workplace. Surveys of hundreds of individuals and organizations reveal three primary areas that are common in unhealthy work environments: sick systems, toxic leaders, and dysfunctional colleagues. This article draws from research and offers practical steps on how to survive, if not change and thrive, in toxic workplaces.

A toxic workplace has unhealthy characteristics in three primary areas: sick systems, toxic leaders, and dysfunctional colleagues. Discover practical steps on how to survive, if not thrive, and impact all three areas.

Paul E. White, PhD, is a psychologist and speaker who advises organizations on how to create positive workplace relationships and environments. He is coauthor of Sync or Swim, Rising Above a Toxic Workplace, and The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Paul can be reached through

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN, is National Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship USA and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Christian Nursing.

Conflict of Interest: Dr. White is coauthor of books referred to in this article. Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner has no conflict of interest and did not participate in the double-blind peer review of this article.

Accepted by peer-review 3/20/2016.

© 2016 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship