According to an adage, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”.
Unfortunately, we’ve all worked for a manager who is demanding, too hard to please and tough to approach, at some point in our professional lives!
In fact, research also says that good bosses are a scarce breed!
According to a Gallup Poll, 50% of employees cite a bad manager as the top reason to quit their jobs. In addition to this, as many as 60 – 75% of managers are unfit for leadership!
Everybody at some point in their career has had a terrible boss story! From managers who micromanage to short-tempered bosses who throw tantrums, there is no shortage of poor workplace leadership.
Let’s take a look at 10 signs that scream ‘Toxic Manager’!
Alert: Toxic Manager Ahead!
Here are some ways to know that you’re dealing with a toxic manager.
1. Loves To Micromanage!
As opposed to a competitive leader, a toxic manager tends to micromanage their employees and always double-check their work. You might be thinking what’s wrong with that? But that’s just not the right way to manage. Toxic managers micromanage to such an extent that employees are downright annoyed and start looking for an escape.
When a manager nitpicks in the day-to-day affairs that are not too serious and constantly double-checks an employee’s work, it sends out the wrong message. It fosters a negative environment where the employee is not valued and trusted. And, this leads to discontentment and skepticism.
2. Seeks Attention All The Time!
The team works hard and puts together a wonderful product before the deadline. The client is very happy with the outcome. And then, the manager walks away with all the attention to themselves claiming credit for the entire work. There is no praise for the team and acknowledgment for their contributions.
This kind of manager tries to hog the spotlight and as a result, the morale of the employees plummets!
Such a manager just cannot make decisions! They will say one thing on Monday, and change direction by Wednesday, without even properly communicating the same to their employees.
On the contrary, a good leader always leads in one direction with a vision and strategy in their mind.
4. Couldn’t Care Less About Employees!
Most bosses don’t value their employees and only care whether the tasks are done in the right manner. They consider their employees as mere resources that can be easily replaced. Also, they don’t care about the career growth of the employees.
A good leader should show empathy, listen to their team and invest in the personal development of the employees. If you want to earn respect, you need to show that you care.
5. Knows It All!
Even if they lack skills, these managers pretend to know it all and don’t depend on others. Such managers have a bag ego or attitude that prevent them from asking help or letting anyone trump their verdict.
Even if the employee has a suggestion, they would rather make their own decision than consider other opinions!
6. Always MIA!
These are the managers who are missing in action. They hide in their cabins and get others to do their dirty work. They do not communicate with their team, apart from what absolutely needs to be stated.
This, in turn, creates more confusion and mistakes as they employees are in a constant state of bafflement.
7. Sets Unrealistic Expectations!
Some managers tend to bog you down with unrealistic goals. Good managers can challenge you with high expectations, however, there is a difference between high goals and an impossible one.
If you are constantly challenged by these unrealistic demands that are beyond your scope, it only results in discontent.
8. Hates Training Employees!
According to a study from Google, employees rate managers who exhibit great coaching skills at higher ranks!
However, toxic managers get frustrated when expected to coach and train their employees. They are highly unwilling to provide employees with necessary coaching, and even when they are forced to head a coaching session, you can sense their reluctance.
9. Doesn’t Inspire!
With a toxic boss, people forget why they even started working for the company in the first place. Toxic managers shift everybody’s attention to metrics, statistics, and rankings.
When employees are just being used as a tool to get results, it sucks all the passion out of them. Instead, a good manager should inspire and motivate employees in order to help them become more productive.
These managers are sly and are the ones that are quite hard to recognize. They can make a great first impression and be superficially charming, but only if it’s useful to them. Otherwise, they don’t empathize or care for the employees.
Here’s How Employees Can Deal With Toxic Managers!
Managers are humans, and are as flawed as everybody else! Here are some ways to deal with them.
1. Stay Calm And Composed
While it may be easy for you to give in to resentment or moving out of the job, it can actually undermine your own resilience and integrity. If your boss shouts, don’t shout back or if they are petty, don’t descend to smallness yourselves. Instead, maintain a calm and professional demeanor when dealing with a toxic manager.
Keep your mind focused on your performance and work. Handling a difficult boss can actually set you apart.
2. Set Up A Meeting To Straighten Things Out
Work things out in a peaceful and respectful manner by scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your manager.
Speak up and give your boss a chance to respond. Complaining loudly to colleagues or heading for the exit door is not your only option!
3. Know Their Preferences And Try Adapt to Them
Observe your manager’s behavioral style and preferences. Does he make decisions quickly or thinks it out slowly? How do they like to communicate- through emails, in person or memos? The more you match your manager’s style, the more they will hear you out.
4. Stand Tall And Never Cower
If you feel intimidated in any way, don’t respond by retracting in fear. If your manager throws tantrums and is a yeller or criticizes you, stand firm.
Do the best job you can do and don’t let yourself to be pushed about by your manager.
5. Do Your Research Before Exiting!
The best way to manage a toxic boss is not to have one in the first place. So, if you are looking out to move into a new role within your current company or another new organization, make sure you do the necessary research.
If moving internally, network and know ahead if it’s the right environment for you. Else if moving into a new company, make sure the new place is the right job for you without making hasty decisions.
However bad managers may be, it is always possible to try and cope with their ways. Once you know the signs of a toxic manager, you can always figure out a way to deal with them!