5 Signs of a Toxic Boss

You know the drill. You check out the company you want to work for.  You read the reviews.  If you know anyone from the company you ask hey, do you know such and such and do you think they are okay to work for?  And when you have done all this research, you finally take the plunge, interview, or accept an offer that was made to you.  Whew.  Okay, yay!  It’s time to get down to work.

I read a report that recently stated within the first 6 months, culture and opportunity play a very big role in your employees sticking around for the first year.  If even 1 person doesn’t make it to the 6 month mark, the company needs to look at the culture it has created.

A Gallop report stated that “Clarity of expectations is perhaps the most basic of employee needs and is vital to performance,” but it really comes down to a little bit more than that.

It’s time to stand up for the work environment you wish to be part of and if it is not able to be created, I want you to consider a few things.  Have you been through the proper “chain of command” to talk about what you are seeing?  Human resources, asking for a work-life survey and more?  Why is it that WORK comes before life?  Does that make sense to you?  I mean sure, we need to be able to pay the bills, but is that a life sentence?  Is that something a company can hold over us because they think we won’t leave?  I want you to take a look at these signs and see if you have merely been tolerating behaviors such as these.

5 Signs of Toxic Leadership

  1. They take no responsibility for their actions and place blame.  On an interview once, I said that I without a doubt live by extreme ownership and I referenced what that meant and looked like to me.  The sad part is, I thought they understood.  Some people lead through tactics of blame.  Those are not leaders.  If they make a mistake, they need to own it, and if they happen to be incompetent and not able to handle the responsibility given to them, it would be nice if they stop blaming everyone who ever worked for them for their lack of knowledge.  The people that the manager, boss, or leader of the company is supposed to support should not feel as if every bad decision their boss makes will come back to haunt them…when in reality, they had nothing to do with that decision.
  2. The toxic leader is not really “there”.  A mentally checked out boss does not listen to you.  At all.  You end up having the same conversations over and over and over.  A week goes by and you have to say things like “Remember, we talked about this last week?”  But they are belligerent and say you never told them this or they told you something that actually never happened.  They are programming their days to the point that they have checked out, and likely have been that way for a long time.  Not only that they load their calendars with “meetings”, come in late, and then leave and you are left to interpret scribbled messages on your desk of things that actually came to them that they want you to do.  Because they are not present.  Mentally or physically.
  3. Communication is abysmal.  Again, this goes with the above.  They don’t know how to manage because they micromanage and they certainly don’t know how to leave you to do your job.  If they communicated a thing once and you were clear on it, then turned it in based on that communication, it should not need re-doing 6 times.  A lack of clarity causes harm to the office and anyone working in it.
  4. Poor planning and organization skills.  A very good manager will look at the need for long-term planning, and have the end in mind.  A person who doesn’t plan will fly by the seat of his/her pants, drop things on your desk and need them “right away”, bump and change your schedule, and react to everything like it’s a fire needing to be put out.  Those people do not have the skills to manage an office.  Without a clear process, (example no on-boarding, training, no idea where the last person who did your job left off, and no clue where office schedules, or files are in the computer), the staff must react with each new problem because there is simply no proactive plan in place. It becomes a place full of anxiety that the boss seems to be oblivious that they themselves have created due to running around with zero strategy.  The unpredictability causes quite the PTSD work place.  You don’t ever know what kind of environment you are walking into that day or what will come up that the boss has forgotten and is now your problem too.
  5. They pretend that everyone left under them for other reasons.  Ahh.  Good ole’ “not me”.  People really can improve, but they claim they don’t need to go to that management training because all the people who left under their watch, well that was them of course.  They can alter what they are doing IF they acknowledge they have not been a good manager/boss/leader.  The truth is, they will NEVER acknowledge it had anything to do with them.  They don’t see how detrimental their management style is to the organization and live in denial that they are the problem…not the workers who left under their leadership.  If this sounds like your boss, consider what even 6 months in this environment might be doing to your mental health?

I get that you thought it was going to be your dream job.  Truly I do.  But if you have talked to people, asked others if it was like this before you got there (and yes, it was), noticed that 6 people left that office in under 2 years or more, it might be time to start your job search again.

Want to read more?

Want to get your life back on track after going through something like this?  >> Work with Me <<  This is serious as your mental health is very important and toxic situations can stay with you long after you leave them.


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