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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Good People Stay

Something happens in forums, groups, and work teams when we up the game to a higher level of authenticity and clear communication. Toxic people leave. And, other people thrive.

I suppose that’s how we want it. And, in the short run, it can be chaotic and highly charged. Is it okay that these people left?

… the longtimer when cleanly confronted with some controlling behaviors views the confrontation as an attack, and storms out with threats of lawsuits and recriminations…

… the member who “keeps it on the surface” and puts down anyone with shortcomings, in a group that exists to support members through the muck and mire of real life…

…the moody genius, accustomed to all bowing to his emotional whims…


As tough as it is in the moment, the long term results bear out the truth. Toxic people drain energy and reduce productivity of the group. In their own pain they hurt others. Their addictions unduly influence decisions. They rarely accept responsibility for their part.

No one can afford to carry dead weight… let alone tug boats pushing the wrong direction.

Toxic people... those who drain, hurt, and abuse... require professional intervention or the firmest of boundaries. Most groups are not equipped to provide this kind of structure and support, and waste valuable resources trying to accomodate or rescue the individual.

The most productive teams… the ones where good people stay and thrive… are those that share not only a common vision and purpose, but also a commitment to candor and curiosity… an individual willingness to own my part in the system, to speak my truth, and to hold myself accountable for results.

If the level of relational authenticity and interaction is working, then keep it. If not though, the good question might be... So, what do you want to have happen?