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How to start changing an unhealthy work environment | Glenn D. Rolfsen | TEDxOslo

Do you think backbiting is happening at your workplace or place of study?
Glenn Rolfsen’s talk is about what contributes to a toxic work environment and what the significant factors are that determine our working life quality. His approach addresses how to achieve a permanent end to slander and bullying among adults in the workplace.

Glenn D. Rolfsen is a psychotherapist working in corporate health service in Oslo. He has also worked as a teacher to educate gestalt therapists in Norway and several European countries. He is particularly concerned with the psychosocial work environment in enterprises. As corporate counsel and leadership consultant, he works daily to improve working life quality for employees.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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  1. O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it… But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
    Quran "Al Hujurat -Chapter, Verse 12"

  2. I am witnessing this at the moment where I work and due to absorbing the overwhelming negative behaviour at work I have found myself lowering myself into this negativity and toxicity. I realised after snipping at a colleague I have to rise myself above this and be more mindful. So have decided my colleagues are not my friends, from here on out I will keep it pleasant, not say anything negative and the only person who suffers is me. Just because they want to be negative doesn't mean I do. I have to stay true to me and remain focused on my future goals and visualise a swan, calm, poised and graceful which is what I will be.

  3. Dear Glenn, I would like to contact you but cannot find an email.  I work at the WHO in Geneva and we are lookign for speakers for our Respectful Workplace Day on 7 December.  Please contact me:  My Name is Evelyn Kortum.  Thank you.

  4. I am that desperate. Am downloading this audio just to play it in my workplace. One employee talks alot like a chatterbox. So I decided to play anything and raise the volume to annoy him the way he annoys me. How can someone not be thoughtful enough to respect other employee who share the office with him? I have work to do too..I need to focus. I wont care for people who dont care about others.

  5. Gossiping is definitely a negative behaviour – because the premise is to spread ill news for the gossiper's agenda (which could be part of a group). But how do you differentiate when someone is trying to gain advice or pick your brain about dealing with a situation/person? If they are truly stating how they feel, could that be construed as back biting? It a tricky situation for all involved.

  6. Gossiping and backbiting forms a feeling of community among those involved. Usually there is a main unlucky subject made scapegoat. It is unreal the lengths these small clusters of self inflated losers will go in destroying a person.

  7. No one person can change an entire workplace culture of incompetent bosses, jealousy, gossip, laziness, mental issues, phoniness and two-faced people at work. No job is going to be 100% perfect but I suggest align yourself with a company that share most of your core values. Thank goodness I don't get close with people at work and I have my own personal relationships outside of work that I focus my energy. Good topic

  8. Im still working in a very toxic work place. It effected my self esteem. The main bosses didn't care about the fairy tales the manger told. She got away with everything. Im now looking for another job. Sadly i lost myself because i been in this toxic environment over 12 yrs.

  9. That was great and meaningful. I don't normally comment on these talks….but this one is important on a tiered scale. kids parents coworkers and employers….it goes on.. Thank you.

  10. It is hard as a manager to not talk about the employees and how their input is going. We have to share information about certain things like so-and-so called out again or so and so didn’t do what I asked them to do or so-and-so was pretty lazy today. So and so was bringing our numbers down.

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