According to a recent Maritz Poll, the toxic boss is still alive and thriving. Sure, no breakthrough news here but what if you, as the recipient of this type of manager, could actually do something about it?
Knowing the type of boss you have, their limitations, their management style, their priorities, what drives them and how they communicate, helps you determine exactly where you stand, and what you can expect from them. After all, if you’re looking for more individualized attention, support and training it may not be realistic to expect that from your current boss or even possible for that boss to provide you the support and training you need. And if that’s the case, at least you now have the evidence to make a more educated sand informed decision regarding whether or not to stay in your current position.
So, what can you do to turn around your boss’s style of managing and how they communicate with you? Here’s a twist. Start by coaching and supporting them using these three simple steps.
First: Coach Up. What can you to do support your boss? Most are used to their employees coming to them with problems and complaints. It’s an interesting reaction you get when you approach them with, “Hi Mary. Listen I know how much we’re all under the same pressure to produce and for you I can only imaging that it’s even more intense. So, I just wanted to ask you what I might be able to do for you to possibly take some of that burden off, or if there’s anything you see in my production or performance that I could be doing better.”
Next: Create the Opportunity to Discuss Expectations: The law of reciprocity applies. After you’ve determined how you can make their life a little easier, eventually, your manager can ask what they can do for you, which is your opportunity to ask if you can discuss the management style that you best respond to and how you want to be managed.
Finally: Set Your Boundaries: Bosses aren’t always going to be cognizant of your boundaries. Their #1 responsibility is to run the company, not worry about your feelings. So stand up for yourself and establish your role, but always give 100%. While most of the time not premeditated, people, especially your boss will continually test you, over and over again, in the sense of what they can and cannot get away with when it comes to making requests and demands of you and how they can treat you. While a large percentage of people might initially be scared or intimidated to say something to their boss, in fear of some type of consequence or fallout, most of the time, managers are clueless about how they treat people and often don’t even know they’re doing it! Don’t be surprised when you drop off this article on their desk, and they in turn, thank you for it. So, re-train all the people around you, including your boss, how they can respond to you in a healthier, non-toxic way.
If all else fails:
Of course, there are those managers which will not respond accordingly. After all, we’ve already established they’re not the easiest boss to connect with, which is the reason you’re trying these techniques in the first place.
1. Stop Tolerating: Establish what you are willing to tolerate and what you cannot. Tolerating is ultimately a CHOICE.
2. Check Your Integrity: Ever feel something is just “off”? That’s the feeling you get when you’re not working out of integrity and drive. “Outline the rules and guidelines you live by and stick to them.”
3. Write Your Job Description: Not the one they handed you in the HR package, the ideal job YOU want with the company. This will help you identify your career goals – and where you’re most out of sync.
4. Manage the FEAR: Either you’re running away from what you don’t want or being pulled by the goal and vision of what you want to create most for your self in your career and your life. The fact is, your fears aren’t real but you’re making important life decisions as if they were.
And with all the efforts those who are managed, the mass, put forth in a regal and often last attempt to salvage a once positive work environment, at the core of every toxic working environment is the toxic boss, manager or supervisor that breeds it. All roads go back to the manager. And if the manager isn’t willing to change, then it’s a safe bet that nothing will.
That’s why to impact long lasting change, managers need to upgrade their style and approach to managing their people.