How To Manage A Toxic Boss

Toxic bosses taint the image of an ideal workplace. Some do so unknowingly, while others, in a self-aggrandizing way, control their subordinates, using their employees as tools to reach their goals. Toxic bosses can cause a permanent loss to their organization and subordinates irrespective of the method they use. Toxic bosses could deter performance and create unnecessary tension in the workplace.

A common saying is that most employees do not leave the organization. They leave their bosses. More than half of people who leave their job in America say they left because of their boss. A toxic boss could be a tyrant, a micromanager, an inappropriate buddy, a visionary, a robot, a seagull, or an incompetent boss. I wouldn’t bore you with many definitions of the different types of toxic bosses. Rather, I’ll briefly show you some common traits of toxic bosses.

1.     They always discard your proposition.

If your boss never accepts your inputs or always dismisses your perspective, you are working for a toxic boss.

2.     They are unreasonable in their demands:

Toxic bosses’ demands are often irrational. They can demand that you work extra hours without the right remunerations or want you to be flawless without giving you room to improve.

3.     They never assist:

We all need help sometimes. Toxic bosses do not readily offer help and might even criticize you when you ask for assistance.

4.     They do not give room for improvement:

Making a mistake takes place in growth and development. You and I make mistakes and learn from them, that is how we grow, but a toxic boss wouldn’t want that. A toxic boss wants perfection every time, whatever the case may be.

5.     They push blame:

Toxic bosses often struggle to recognize and admit their weaknesses. They then push the blame around –mostly to their subordinates.

6.     They are inherently rude:

Toxic bosses are habitually rude. They tend to give remarks that are disrespectful or condescending. They are talented at making their employee feel insignificant through passive-aggressive and insensitive comments.

7.     They fail to recognize your achievement:

A toxic boss will neither acknowledge your growth nor regard your achievements. They may even try to move the focus away from you when others compliment you.

8.     They do not prioritize employees’ well-being:

Toxic bosses focus too much on progress reports, results, and numbers that they neglect the well-being of their employees.

9.     They become angry in the face of a tough situation:

Toxic bosses would rather throw fits than deal with the problem. Their anger is directed towards their subordinates instead of channelling that energy into solving the issue.

Don’t be disparaged by a toxic boss. Take these tips into account to make the best of hard-hitting circumstances and come out on top.

1.     Understand your boss:

A toxic boss will exhibit one or more of the above traits. Your boss has a say over your position, and you cannot go all out to fight him or her. You have to understand your toxic boss so you can know how to relate with him or her correctly. You can keep a log of what your boss asks of you to keep track of what you are supposed to do and what he or she said to you and gain a better insight into his or her behaviour. The log is also a great way to keep you grounded in facts and out of unnecessary emotional drama.

2.     Focus on the job:

Your main source of motivation (or demoralization) comes from your focus. If you focus on the job, you’d always be motivated to do the job, but if you focus on your boss, your toxic boss, you, the job, and the organization would suffer for it. Shift your focus from the boss who is trying to bully you to the task and details of your job. Reduce or eliminate your boss’s emotional foothold in your life. This will give you unrestricted access to control your performance as you focus on getting better.

3.     Speak out: Once you understand your boss and what he or she wants, it is time to speak out. Let your words be concise and based on facts. You need not try to convince him with too many words. Stick with the facts. Approach your boss with a strong and positive posture. While you are at it, remember to chip it in that you will no longer tolerate the toxicity.

4.     Set limits: Everyone has a breaking point. You have to set your limit to a few notches before your breaking point. This way you are well insulated against your boss’ toxicity. One great way to effectively but silently transmit this limit is through body language. You have to control yourself to exhibit body languages that exhibit positivity and eliminates any form of shyness. Words can be manipulated and used against you but with Body language, you are secured.

5.     Escalate to the Human Resources: If you follow all these steps, you should start to see changes in your boss. If after you have done all these and your toxic boss didn’t budge, it is high time you escalated to the HR department. You have to let your superior, his or her superior, and the human resource department know about the toxicity of your boss. You must provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt that you have done all you can to cope and abate your boss’ toxic behavior. File a complaint and allow HR to do their job.

I want you to remember these when managing your toxic boss

·        Do not take it personally.

·        Accept the fact that your boss is a human and humans are not perfect.

·        Know that there is a primary cause for all these.

·        They are not primarily essential to your success.

·        Karma is real.

I know these strategies will help you as it has helped a lot of people. Do me a favor, use these strategies to help yourself, your boss, and others in your network. Remember, about half of employees are currently working for a toxic boss.

Looking forward to seeing your boss become a better leader and your workplace better!

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