Managing A Toxic Boss + Knowing When And How To Leave

April 25, 2012  |  

A supervisor has complete control over your most basic human needs.  Your ability to put food on the table and a roof over your head. These are powerful motivating factors that allow a difficult supervisor to control people out of fear of losing these basic needs. We may not be able to always correct their behavior, but we should never have to live in fear and let our difficult boss control our lives. –Tristan Loo

If you’re reading this then I know you understand what it’s like to have a toxic boss and work in an equally uninspiring work environment!  It usually starts with the Monday morning groans on Sunday night when you begin to think about what awaits you at the start of the week.  Ugghh, not another daaaay you say!

If this is you, then read on.  It’s important to know how to manage a toxic boss but also knowing when and how to exit a situation that has become untenable for both your sanity and professional reputation.

Identifying And Understanding A Toxic Boss

In the beginning we start by giving them several passes but as the pattern of incompetence and bad behavior rears its head, only then do you realize the beast you’re dealing with is actually your boss who has the ability to make your life hell because you need to put food on the  table.  Slowly you begin to question their competence, lose respect and perhaps even feel unmotivated.  Even if you like your job, the emotional BS that you have to put up with is just too much.

Most of the time this has to do with a need for control and respect while masking a deep level of incompetence they are deathly afraid of being discovered by their employees.  Once discovered, then the passive-aggressive and vindictive games begin because they’ve been exposed.  This voracious need for control also has to do with their inability to maintain any semblance of the control in their personal lives.  Thus the only place they can maintain control is in the workplace.  But as with their personal lives, things fall apart, eventually.

They lie and deceive their employees because their fragile egos are rarely able to handle the truth.  Because of this refusal to hear the truth, this is almost always coupled with the fact that they aren’t great communicators which results in confusion for their employees.  The information highway in the organization is typically a one way street where employees aren’t encouraged to speak up about the white elephants in the room because the only traffic that matters is the manager barking from the top down.

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