Dealing with a Toxic Boss
20th March, 2023
It is often said that most employees leave their managers rather than their companies. A toxic supervisor can make going to work each day challenging and significantly affect an employee's motivation. However, leaving the company may only sometimes be the best option when dealing with a toxic boss. One option is managing up, which involves consciously working with your manager to achieve the best possible outcomes for yourself, your manager, and your organization. Here are seven tips for dealing with a toxic boss:
- Don't take it personally: Although such behavior is not acceptable, there may be a cause for it, such as personal issues. Try to view your boss with compassion.
- Have an open conversation: It is essential to have a frank discussion with your boss. Ask for an open dialogue and, without accusations, explain how you feel and the actions that affected your performance and morale. The conversation may help you decide whether to continue in your current position.
- Talk to people you trust: Don't let it boil inside, talk to friends or colleagues you trust. You can discuss the situation together and gain a different perspective. Consider joining a support group or seeking advice from a professional counselor.
- Stand up for yourself: Let your boss know what you are unwilling to tolerate and be firm. See yourself as equal and seek approval from yourself before seeking your boss's approval. Don't be overly nice; own your work and who you are. If you have confidence in yourself, your boss will likely respect you more.
- Avoid fear: Your boss wants you to feel afraid, as it gives them control over you. To overcome your fear, consider the worst-case scenario, such as being fired. Living in a constant state of fear is not worth it, as it can lead to anxiety, which can cause significant health conditions like heart disease or severe depression.
- Deliver results and drop your ego: A toxic boss may disregard data and only want you to follow their instructions. Use logic to deliver what they want, control your ego, and avoid getting involved in your boss's drama. Stay organized and professional, and prioritize your work.
- Plan your exit: Keep in mind that karma is real. Some believe treating employees poorly is a sign of success, but this is not always true. If your boss is one of these people, take comfort in knowing karma will eventually catch up with them. Keep your CV and LinkedIn profile current and maintain your network. Plan your exit from a toxic workplace before the situation becomes unbearable.
While dealing with a toxic boss can be challenging, it's important to remember that you are the only one who can manage yourself and make changes in your career. Don't take it personally, have an open conversation, talk to people you trust, stand up for yourself, avoid fear, deliver results, and plan your exit if necessary.