How to Eliminate Toxic Communication Patterns in Teams

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Relationship expert and best-selling author Dr. John Gottman has identified four specific behaviors that often get in the way of communication and strong, collaborative relationships: Blaming, Defensiveness, Contempt and Stonewalling.

When used frequently, these toxic communication patterns are so lethal to human relationships that Dr. Gottman calls them “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” In the context of teams, they are usually referred to as “The Four Team Toxins.”

Nobody is perfect, and we all tend to fall prey to these toxic behaviors, be it at home or in the office. It is therefore perfectly normal that team toxins occur even in the most successful relationships. The difference is that in strong and healthy relationships they occur less frequently, and when they do, the parties are more effective at neutralizing them.

Awareness of the team toxins and being able to identify them when they appear, both in our own behavior and that of others, is a necessary first step to eliminating them. However, knowledge alone is not enough. We must also learn to replace these toxins with more constructive and healthy behaviors – the so-called “antidotes.”

In this summary you will find a powerful mixture of antidotes consisting of assertiveness, constructive communication, positivity & appreciation, as well as a healthy dose of playfulness!

Click here to read the full summary: The Team Toxins and Their Antidotes