toxic manager in the workplace sitting at his desk

How to Spot a Toxic Manager in the Workplace

Toxic workplace culture is the top reason people leave their jobs. It’s no secret that the workplace can be a stressful environment. But what happens when the source of that stress is your boss? A toxic manager can make your work life a living nightmare.

Bad bosses fuel toxic workplace cultures in many ways. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to identify a toxic manager early on and take efficient steps to make changes. Not only does your career growth and success get impacted, but also your personal life. So, how do you mitigate the stress and manage a terrible situation. The most important survival tactic is to start your plans to get out. Understand what results your manager is looking for, deliver these results, and focus on strategies to leave. In this article, we’ll discuss the various forms of management toxicity, signs that you’re working with one, and offer tips on how to deal with the situation.

One of the most common signs is feeling constantly stressed out. If your boss is always putting you on edge and making you feel like you’re not good enough, it’s time to take action.

Signs that you are working with a toxic manager

First and foremost, stop blaming yourself. Refocus your energy on getting what needs to be done, and steps to find a new position.

Don’t expect the situation to change. Connect with others you trust so you can express what you’re going through. The worst feeling is to experience isolation and that you are incompetent in your work efforts. Reach out to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member. Research to find out if your company has an employee assistance plan.

A toxic manager can destroy your morale, impair your retention, and interferes with cooperation and information sharing.

Stress at work can include burn-out and boredom.

The most common types of toxic bosses are:

The ‘cold’ Manager, aka the cold fish. This type of manager exhibits no emotional intelligence or empathy in the office environment. They discourage creativity and exhaust employee efforts.

The Sleazy Snake Manager, obsessed with greed and power. This person is also a manipulator, setting unachievable goals.

The dictatorship Manager creates a dictatorship culture with their ideas leaving no room for collaboration, collective thinking, and brainstorming.

The ghost Manager, you can never find them when you need them. Do you ever catch a glimpse or them, or are the lights playing tricks on you?

The manager who craves attention, credit, and glory at all costs, regardless of whether they have taken part in the work or not.

Have you encountered the micromanager? A micromanager will make your work life miserable.

How to deal with a toxic manager

1. Open the discussion and talk. If you’re consistently feeling stressed out and unhappy in your job, talk to your boss about it. Let him/her know that you’re not comfortable with the situation and assess their response.

2. HR should take a neutral approach in dealing with the situation. Document everything. Keep track of the things your manager dictates, and the conversations that take place. This can be helpful when you decide to speak to your boss or if you decide to exit.

3. Set boundaries. Let your manager know that you’re not okay with being micromanaged or feeling constantly stressed out. Make it clear what behaviors are not acceptable.

4. Find an ally. Talk to coworkers who you trust and confide in them about your experience. They may be able to offer some support and advice.

5. Seek outside help. If the situation is really getting to be too much, consider talking to a therapist, coach, counselor, or mentor.

Remember these signs

There’s nothing more dangerous than a toxic boss. Look for triggers. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, there’s a good chance you’re working with one. No amount of money, future empty promises, or job title change is worth the mental health impact of a disruptive manager. Document everything, set boundaries, find an ally, and seek outside help. Whatever direction you take, protect your peace, and move on.