Last week I was talking about a toxic culture and how to avoid getting pulled into the personal “turmoil” of it. There’s no judgment in how you feel, only the recognition that how you feel is real for you; the behaviors of people who either aren’t self-aware or don’t care about their impact on others affect us, and we can end up feeling we are the ones in the wrong.

The problem is other people’s moods and behaviors affect us. I had a boss who, every single morning when I said hello, how are you, would answer… just ok. Such a downer for everyone around him, and yet it probably never occurred to him that he set the tone in the office every morning.  

At work, culture is the atmosphere in the room, the relationships, and the conversations; it’s the values that we carry through in our interactions and actions; and it’s the way we solve problems. It’s the work ethics and patterns that we see show up under stress when we are under pressure to perform, and it’s the leadership messages about the value and worth people have in the organization. In short, it’s the ripple effect of everyone’s emotions and behaviors and the cause and effect of our ability to pause, listen, and ask questions before we choose how to act. Without it, the cause and effect of toxic behavior are reactions and behaviors that cause hurt and harm to others because they are devoid of pause, mindfulness, respect and, essentially, care. 

To learn how to use the CARE Framework, read the full article here.

Originally published on March 28, 2023 at