56% of employees report having toxic workplace leaders. Toxic leadership can lead to high turnover rates, low morale, decreased productivity, and a negative company reputation. As a leader, it is important to set a positive example for your team, and work towards maintaining a healthy work environment.  

Here are five destructive habits to avoid as a leader:  


Gossiping is destructive in many ways. It causes anxiety, distrust, and unhealthy relationships. When employees overhear their leaders gossiping about coworkers, they tend to assume that they are also being gossiped about, which can create anxiety among employees.  

Workers may also feel like they cannot trust their leaders if they know they spread classified information to others, which ruins the relationship between leaders and employees.  

Instead of turning the workplace into a battlefield and pitting workers against each other, try to stop any form of gossip before it gets out of hand. When employees see that their leaders do not condone gossip, it will help them feel more confident and comfortable in the workplace.  

Jumping to conclusions 

Many people make the mistake of jumping to conclusions before hearing the full story. Interpreting things negatively when there is no proof to back up your conclusion can cause destruction in the workplace.  

When leaders hear about something negative happening in the workplace, instead of jumping to conclusions, they should immediately talk to everyone that is involved in the problem. This allows leaders to hear the full story from different perspectives and helps them see the situation clearly.    

Keeping score 

Toxic leaders often “keep score” of all the times they have helped others, which can make coworkers feel like they are indebted to them. Instead of making employees feel like they are a burden when they ask for your help, make them feel like they are a priority. Being a leader means constantly finding ways to help your employees thrive and be successful, so it is important to not make them feel like you are keeping score for when they need to return the favor.  

Being overly independent  

The best leaders do not work alone. If leaders are always cooped up in their office and not making time to interact with their employees, it can cause ineffective communication, distrust, confusion, and lack of motivation.  

Instead of working alone, leaders should make it a point to always be engaged with their employees. This can include moving your desk to be by all of your team members, taking time to sit and chat with each employee, and socializing with your team during lunch breaks.  

Passive aggression  

Passive aggression is often expressed through indirect actions to get back at someone who has made you feel angry, frustrated, or annoyed. Passive aggression can be shown through avoiding steps to resolve an issue, humiliating others, and holding back important information.  

As a leader, it is important to talk through situations that have caused anger or frustration so that you do not become passive aggressive towards others. Communication is the only way to resolve negative feelings, so it is important for leaders to prioritize effective communication with other colleagues.  


Leaders set the tone and culture for their teams, so it is important for leaders to avoid any negative habits that may harm the workplace environment. When employees feel valued and seen by their leaders, it encourages them to work hard and reach their goals.