(By Joseph Mattera) The following 20 signs are based on my observations regarding organizational dysfunction associated with a toxic (poisonous) culture in any organization. In this article, the word “culture” refers to the prevailing attitude, behavior, and unspoken feeling and or rules that motivate and determine how people respond, react and act in the context of their work. The following toxic traits fit either a “for profit” or “nonprofit “organization (including nonprofits like a hospital, school or church).

1. The leader is a demanding micromanager. – 
When the leader of an organization is constantly hovering over staff and other team leaders—not only telling them what to do but exactly how to do it (although this is necessary temporarily when a new person is learning a new job until they prove their competency), it discourages the work environment because the leader’s leadership style demonstrates a lack of trust towards those under him or her.

2. The leader is emotionally abusive and demeaning. A work environment is absolutely horrible when the boss is constantly putting the staff and other leaders down—never praising them and only speaking to them when he wants to correct them. CONTINUE