TO MANAGE A TOXIC BOSS
"I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was
going to blame it on you."
Quote from a toxic boss
At one point
or another in your career, you will report to a manager, the person
you call “boss”. The relationship you create and manage
with your boss is critical for your work success and career progress.
And, face it, whether you like it or not, you're in charge of your
relationship with your boss.
So if you can’t stand your boss but can’t live without
your job, join the club. Tara Weiss in Forbes cited survey research
that claims 50 million (don’t you feel better already, you
are not alone!) workers feel pressured to stay with bad bosses because
of the current economic downturn. In my consulting work, I have
heard accounts of all kinds of bad behavior and abuses of power
from toxic bosses. Here are some tips:
1. Develop a “formula”.
This is a strategy for coping. One employee in a BusinessWeek article
said his strategy for handling his toxic boss was allotting time
every morning to “cater to the boss’s needs” and
to plan for the predictable temper tantrums. This helped provide
a sense of control. Finally, he sent e-mails through out the day
“catering to his pet peeves”.
2. It is important to
“maintain a relationship” because when you do move on
(internally or with a new organization) you will need a recommendation.
My daughter still has an occasional lunch with her former toxic
boss because she is listed on her resume and still depends on her
3. When your boss treats
you disrespectfully in front others, don’t respond in kind.
Rise above it. If you come back calm and centered, you are the real
4. If the boss is incompetent,
see it as an opportunity to gain more responsibility. Something
you can put on the resume!
5. If the boss
is a micro manager, provide updates until they tell you to stop!