Enterprise Software

Navigating the dysfunctional workplace

Although many people see the approaching holidays as a stage for family dysfunction, they don't seem to know that they may be dealing with dysfunction every day -- in the workplace.

Although many people see the approaching holidays as a stage for family dysfunction, they don't seem to know that they may be dealing with dysfunction every day — in the workplace.

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As the holidays approach, the thoughts of many people turn to dread; dread at the specter of family get-togethers and all the dysfunction that they imply. But most of those people say, hey, I can put up with crazy Uncle Fred for one day, or I can withstand some parental brow-beating for a few hours.

What many people fail to realize is that the chances are good they're dealing with dysfunction every day in the workplace. Many people fail to realize the extent of the dysfunction or the havoc it can wreak because they also happen to be getting a paycheck.

Oh, but it's there.

The inferiority complexes that force meetings to drag on for days because the attendees think debating the issues makes them seem smarter? The decisions that never get made because no one wants to shoulder the burden of a possible mistake? On some days, you long for the stability of crazy Uncle Fred.

Steve Tobak over at BNET has compiled a list of the most common characteristics of a dysfunctional workplace. They'll have you nodding your head in agreement. Take a look at those and then post your own IT-specific dysfunctional trait in the discussion here.

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About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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