My first encounter with a toxic boss happened the first day on a job. He thought that the best way to give me a taste of the workplace culture was to call me into a meeting within two hours of being on the job and humiliate a manager of 20 years with the organization, in front of me.
I remember sitting there in shock and wondering what I have gotten myself into. I went back to my office in disbelief, muttering the words “What the hell! That was not cool.” In his mind, he thought that made him powerful.
Welcome back to the series on how to deal with a toxic boss. Last week we established that “a toxic boss is a manager who demoralizes and damages the people underneath him/her. Their repeated, disruptive behaviour drives employees to become disengaged, diminishes their sense of belonging, and takes away their autonomy and sense of purpose – all of which are vital for thriving at work.” 6 Toxic Boss Signs and How to Deal With Them ] The Muse
Today I am sharing with you excerpt from Forbes Human Resources Council in an article titled “13 Effective Tactics For Dealing With A Toxic Boss.”
1. “Do Your Job And Drop Your Ego: Strategic thinking will help immensely. A toxic boss may say that data doesn’t matter, they just want you to follow what they say. Use logic, do your job and check your ego at the door. Recognize there are varied management styles, and their style is not a reflection of you, but of them. Learning what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does. What is “true” to the toxic boss is not fact.” – Patricia Sharkey, IMI People
If you are not careful, having a toxic boss can contribute to a considerable amount of stress, sleepless nights, weight loss or gain, addiction and eating disorder. When a toxic boss offloads on you, his/her objective is to get you to see yourself through his/her eyes.
Once you start believing the horrible things they say to you, it will erode your self-worth.
Always remember, when they misbehave, they are showing up themselves and that has nothing to do with you.
2. “Start By Assessing Your Own Values: One effective tactic for handling a toxic leader is to assess your own personal values. We can’t control how others show up; however, you are in control of how you show up, which is where your focus should be. Ask yourself the following questions: “Are you in alignment with your personal values and what you are gaining overall?” Stay consciously aware of your purpose and mission for your life.” – RaQuel Hopkins, DHI Telecom Group
A toxic boss thinks that he/she preaches the gospel. What they project unto you, they are hoping that you would react in such a way to confirm that they were right to think and feel the way they do. Self-awareness on your part is an asset in this situation. When the working relationship no longer serves your purpose, it is better to move on.
If you become disengaged that could ruin your reputation.
3. “Avoid Them As Much As Possible: This is counterintuitive, as we like to resolve our conflicts by changing the way in which we interact. If you can limit your interactions with them down to what is necessary, you may find you can tolerate them a little more. This also forces you to seek out other directions and focus only on the tasks that really matter. It can be amazing how much time this frees up for the jobs that matters!” – Karla Reffold, BeecherMadden
Sometimes the toxic boss facilitates this for you. They know when they have misbehaved and avoid you just as much as you want to stay out of their way.
4. “Document, Document, Document: When working with a toxic boss, stay focused on doing an amazing job and document, document, document. Always follow up with written communication confirming expectations set by the toxic boss. Leverage data to support your decision. If you find the stress in the toxic situation is increasing, it may be time to move on or bring it to the attention of those who will address it.” – Charles Ashworth, Copper
Documenting could also mean taking note of the boss’s misbehaviour. A toxic boss almost always acts from a place of feelings and unfounded allegations. You on the other hand should document the facts including his/her irresponsible behaviours. If you have a toxic boss, the reality is, you are in a toxic relationship. Like any unhealthy relationship leaving is not always as easy. Where you are in your career, your level of expertise, skill and qualifications may impact how soon you can move on. In any case, plan your exit so that once you are out, there will be no regrets.
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