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managing toxic bosses
Insights shared with Brian Foley | On Record, March 2022
A few ways to manage such personalities entail (sample excerpt below):
- Accept what you see is what you get. You're not there to change people but to understand how to co-exist with them. If their behaviors conflict with good Samaritan and human resource guidelines (per state and national level), the employee needs to take action to mitigate their circumstances. Unfortunately not many companies with a formal Human Resources and General Counsel are equipped to address these concerns. Ensure your company is enforcing employee standards across the board. If they're not, they're liable for exercising a bias if these minor differences escalate to severe concerns in the eyes of the law.
- Learn to communicate with more confidence and affirmatively when co-existing with toxic personalities that are likely bullies in the workplace. It's important to hold your ground through clear verbal and written communication. Call them out when they are putting words in your mouth, making up their facts or setting you up against other members in the workplace when you know they are bluffing with intent to intimidate. Shitty people come in all forms of packaging in the workplace. Don’t set yourself up to become a doormat thinking you’ll be rewarded for your martyrdom. It’s not cute. It communicates your lack of self-respect. Period.
- Toxic personalities tend to taint relationships within teams and the organizational culture. It's important that employees continue contributing to the workplace rather than resigning themselves to a situation that is tied to their manager's personality. You are representing yourself first, the company and the brand. When facing conflict in the workplace, it is always encouraged for the employee and the source of conflict to directly address their reservations before any third party intervenes to investigate the situation.
- Learn how to separate your overall being from the toxic landmines that are embedded by insecure bosses craving attention through creating challenges that shouldn't exist in the first place. Toxic personalities breed toxic communication that can set people up against one another through gossip and hearsay that breeds an unhealthy morale in the workplace.
- Learn how to exercise your power by reporting any misconduct or abuse through exercising company hotline and human resource channels. If these channels fail to entertain your concern appropriately, there are county, state and national labor bureau resources that can assist your matter. It's important to first assess if this is an interpersonal matter or a toxic personality that is impacting everyone's work morale and performance. Sometimes people can't distinguish between their own emotions and opinions versus a serious professional concern that needs to be escalated as a red flag. Chances are high these organizations are privy to these toxic personalities (but) what are these companies doing about it?
- If the toxic bosses pose an organizational liability, they are at risk of losing their opportunity. Contingent upon the degree of threat and liability they pose, labor bureaus get involved if the company is negligent. Instead of mirroring the toxic personality, it's important to maintain your sanity by reminding yourself that you are worthy of your opportunity. If you're being cheated out of opportunities and credit is being diminished for your hard work then it's time to seek counsel on alleviating these passive aggressive behaviors that get worse with time. Toxic bosses come from all walks of life. Toxic human behaviors are in need of behavior modification. If such behaviors are tolerated, it's for a set period of time before the organizational liability outweighs the costs of hosting such immature behaviors in the workplace.
- Contributor, Sasha Laghonh
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