The hustle culture of the modern workplace is real. However, very often do we need to take a step back and check in with ourselves both mentally and emotionally. When you practice mindfulness like this, you may realize your work environment isn’t as healthy as you thought. We all have the right to a safe, welcoming, and comfortable workplace, but this can be hard to make a reality. Hence, here are six books that can help us prioritize our mental health in a toxic workplace.
This first book on our list written by Gary Chapman, Paul White, and Harold Myra is a good starting point for us because of how its structured. This book retells the stories of workers stuck in toxic workplaces, then analyzes them. From there, it tells how these workers changed their workplaces, coped with it, or, ultimately, escaped from the workplace. With commentary from the authors, its fairly easy to take notes from these anecdotes on how to preserve your mental health.
What we like about this book is that the authors, Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Holloway, address the underlying issues that contribute to a toxic environment. That is to say, they address the systems of power within an organization, and how even one toxic personality can influence the entire system, even causing long-term effects after they leave. Consequently, you can learn how to identify and manage a toxic leader while also creating an environment of respect from the in-depth research the authors conducted.
Something of a strategy guide written by professor Robert I. Sutton, this practical yet kind book has a bit of everything you need for the toxic workplace. It gives proper strategies on identifying toxic behaviors and replacing them with positive ones. Additionally, it has enlightening case studies that may make you go “wait that sounds like my situation!” Finally, and this is particularly fun, it includes a self-test to identify your own negative tendencies. Self-awareness is the first step to becoming healthier.
A rather comprehensive guide comes from Albert J. Bernstein, PhD. This one has very practical, direct solutions to various problems in the workplace. For example, it shares that everybody loves the person who brings food to the office! Another part we enjoy is that it focuses on positive reactions to things outside of your control, a life skill that we cannot stress the importance of. It’s one of the longer books on this list sitting at 304 pages, yet its very critically acclaimed for its usefulness.
Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior
Our next book is research-backed, written by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler that tackles the issue of confrontation. Even if you maybe don’t work in a toxic workplace, this could still be useful as it’s very applicable to relationships in personal lives as well! Using over twenty years of research, this book is what it says on the tin: a toolkit for how to confront people about the various situations described in the title. Not only will you resolve the broken expectation or bad behavior, but it’s likely these tools will strengthen the relationship too!
Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against Coworkers, Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison Your Day
A book by Linnda Durre which has its basis in psychotherapy. The intention here is to teach you about communication styles and negotiation techniques. These tips can contribute to a more peaceful and mindful environment. However, it also explains some of the most common types of toxic workplaces (coworkers, situations, etc) and attempts to explain why this type of toxicity exists. Good for anybody curious about psychology!
There are many more books that can give you the tools and secrets you need to survive a toxic workplace, but these six stood out to us. Want more books on stress and anxiety? Click here!