IT Employment discover

Can a toxic boss be managed?

If you have a toxic boss, the last thing you want to do is spend your valuable time trying to bring out the best in him or her. But that's just what you might have to do.

If you have a toxic boss, the last thing you want to do is spend your valuable time trying to bring out the best in him or her. But that's just what Dr. Aubrey Daniels, author of OOPS! 13 Management Practices That Waste Time & Money and Bringing Out the Best in People, suggests.

Let me take a time out here and say a bit about my own experience with this technique. When my son was little, my husband and I had a whale of a time with his behavioral problems. (Think Dennis the Menace but without the impulse control.) One of the techniques we used with him was to concentrate on positive reinforcement. Of course, sometimes we had to wait a looonnggg time for something positive to happen that we could reinforce. And it took a lot of patience to play down some of the bad things in order to make the good things he did stand out in his mind.

Yes, he parked his plastic cars in the oven once -- something I didn't find out about until a rather lengthy preheat one day -- but he also freely donated some of his toys to a women and children's shelter. Ultimately, our parenting technique helped my son see the difference between good behavior and bad behavior. Can this work on an adult boss?

According to Daniels, employees don't have to put up with abuse from a toxic boss or quit their jobs. By understanding the science of human behavior and the power of positive reinforcement, employees can take meaningful steps to turn a bad boss into a good one, including:

  1. Understand the power of positive reinforcement: If you think you get too little recognition or positive reinforcement for what you do at work, you can be assured that your boss gets evens less.
  2. Look for some improvement on the part of the boss: Don't look for large changes, but for any small behavior that is an improvement over the usual. Tell him or her that you appreciate how they handled something at work or a decision that they made.
  3. Say "Thank You" to your boss: Thanking your boss for something that was helpful to you in some way is always appreciated. Bosses always hear what people don't like; it's rare that they hear about things they do that people actually like.
  4. Tell your boss what's going on. Keep the boss informed about things that ARE going well. Give them a reason to celebrate what is working.
  5. Help your boss be successful. Respond positively to decisions set forth by your boss and help others on your team support your boss's initiatives. Any time you help your boss be successful, his or her behavior will likely improve.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

73 comments
ken_villarruel
ken_villarruel

Hi There -

I think the best advice was the comment made by poster SammJeffries:

"take the high road, and keep your documentation in order, for when somebody finally calls them out"

 I worked for 7 years at a major software development company and I had my share of grief from not one but three toxic bosses.

 In all three scenarios, I remained professional but I also documented their bad behavior.

Eventually, I found another job and left.

One other option: If the behavior is truly abusive and egregious (think harassment or discrimination) then I would not think twice about filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.  When I finally left the previously mentioned software company, I had an exit interview with the company's Human Resource Department.  At the time, I did not mention my managers' horrible behavior (I did not want to burn bridges if the new position did not work out). However, I did eventually file an EEOC complaint against the manager (for the record, I had 300 days from the date of the harassment incident [which occurred close to the date that I left] to file a complaint).

 So, in sum, be professional but don't be a doormat; Document the bad behavior and be willing to walk if the treatment is truly horrible. Yes, finding another job can be difficult. But, compared to the cost of therapy, it might be the best option.

cjme
cjme

I suppose there is Toxic and TOXIC!!!  Some people are natural bullies and what ever you do it won't help! Sometimes it is worse when they swing both ways and you never know which head is on that day. Do you say something or don't you!!! I stressed out for a long time and nearly left my job but now I put my head down, get on with what I need to do and look forward to Friday. Not ideal but it pays the bills!!

shof
shof

hmmm, this sounds idealistic to me. The techniques suggested could lead to a reinforcement of these character traits, too. And it can get worse because the boss' psychological problem gets worse over time automatically.
Ultimately it leads to a separation, early is better than late. Lifetime wasted doesn't come back. 

batya7
batya7

Problem is, the toxic boss usually is HIGH in the power structure and you are LOW. Anything you say/do can be used against you.  If you think out of the box, you're painted as a maverick and a troublemaker. If you do the same old thing, you're uncreative and marked down. Who is the head of HR going to believe: you or the boss who is also a VP of the company and a rainmaker?


u0107
u0107

I feel there really is no point in continuing to work for a toxic boss.

In most cases, the boss knows he is toxic and enjoys being mean only because that keeps his team on their toes.  The fact does remain that at critical moments, the team that he depends on so much can pull the rug from under his feet make him look like a complete failure.  Work environments thrive when there is trust and degenerate when there is no trust.

RMSx32767
RMSx32767

There is a significant difference between your child behaving like a brat, and a "toxic boss".

Has Dr Aubrey ever worked for a truly "toxic boss"? By toxic I mean junk-yard-dog mean, abusive, and misogynist. Or is the working definition of "toxic" more like "not warm and fuzzy"?

I once worked for a man who threatened other managers, screamed at subordinates, blamed others for his mistakes, and deleted information because he "did not know what was used for". Oh, and two people died during his tenure; one of a stroke, and the other of drink. Then there were the 6 or more people he fired; most of them women.

As for the first suggestion about positive reinforcement: is it possible to positively reinforce the behavior of a rattlesnake?

waytoobusyforthisnonsense
waytoobusyforthisnonsense

Yes, it's tough to work for a bad/toxic boss - BUT, if you have the skills (and the stomach) for it - and you have an 'accountable' attitude, then you can work on your boss, and you CAN help him to succeed - you may have to give up some of your own recognition to accomplish it (pointing positive results to your boss instead of yourself occasionally). You owe it to your boss - just like he owes it to you - to tell the truth and to tell him how his actions affect you and affect your ability to perform. Don't just tell him the bad stuff - I'm sure he hears THAT from upstairs - tell him "When you........., I feel........., and that makes/causes/results in.............." - and then when he responds even the smallest bit, you have to recognize it - praise the small steps - those of you who disagree with this approach may or may not have tried it. These days, I guess if you like jumping ship, then maybe that's an option for you.....but I find it works for me -

wlportwashington
wlportwashington

I had a very toxic boss that went out of her way to make my life miserable. I used to get sick every morning walking into my office. I tried every trick in the book including duck-and-cover. There was no appeasing the dragon. In the end her hate for me was so strong she terminated me and replaced me with someone 30 years younger than me.

marcellus.brown
marcellus.brown

In the current UK job market the option to leave secure employment due to the boss of company factors is not available. Employers have golden handcuffs on employees as the statutory minimum compensation for a longer term employee can be around a years salary in the UK. An employee who resigns gives up this compensation. From the managers view getting an employee to resign is less expensive than paying them off. If there is evidence of constructive dismissal it is possible that the employer can be taken to court and pay all the costs and compensation to the former employee. So faced with a bullying manager trying to make an employees life hell the employee is trapped in an unhappy situation. If the workplace has a union the union may or may not support the employee. Without a union the employee may go to the ACAS organisation in the UK but I would expect that this route may be difficult to take. Leaving a job it may be apparent the employees qualifications and skills have not been developed sufficiently to get a similar job leading to the path of long term unemployment. IT skills get out of date rapidly and job postings ask for the impossible e.g. 5 years experience in SharePoint 2010. So the options are to get training on managing the manager, apply to move to work for another manager in the company or risk the company's complaints procedure.

SycamoreISU
SycamoreISU

Think about all the people in your life who have stayed with a toxic boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse because they thought they could change them. It doesn't work there, either.

SammJeffries
SammJeffries

Once again, a thoroughly enjoyed article, and if I wasn't so mad I could spit with the reality of it, I might actually chuckle out loud, truly killing the 'Anger Cloud' of a daily workplace. Now, I personally don't get why some people just have it out to make your every waking moment on the job a vile and pestilence-ridden existence, surely there's a University somewhere that teaches these truly honed skills? I am a fairly qualified professional with an epic sense of trouble-shooting and solution resolution. In fact, I have often been quoted as saying, "Don't tell me what you can't do, tell me what you can." While I wholeheartedly agree your points are good solid advice, can't we occasionally fantasize about a punch square in the gob while smiling in acquisition? I myself try to utilize the humour approach as much as possible, because, well, my mother taught me well not to point out the flaws of someone who's already got their dander up, and especially NOT if they're your 'superior'. That Kool-Aid stand incident left it's mark I assure you; don't criticize the quality of one who professes to be the Kool-Aid Queen. But I digress, While I agree with all points noted, with an almost comical 'niceness' and the whole 'Thank YOU' thing, my fantasies are what keep me going, as surely making that kind of contact with one's employer would not be recommended in today's age of electronic PCness. WHile I also would never condone such violence, especially at one's place of work where we are surely held to a higher bar of conduct, my solution helps me shrug it off, before we both end up in the President's office. At the end of the day, nobody has ever been impressed with how well you loose your cool, but plenty of colleagues ask, "How do you stay so calm during the constant tirades?" To which I reply, "It's easy, I just think of something nice." They don't have to know how much I'd like to bring slapping back. I say, take the high road, and keep your documentation in order, for when somebody finally calls them out.

i.kennedy
i.kennedy

.... is our bosses mantra. This is the WORST kind of boss. Everybody's pal. Not going to work! I never go there with an issue - what's the point? Every response begins with 'You just have to realise where they are coming from and feel for them." GRRRR!

ShaneD
ShaneD

Values like Leadership and Culture are just as important in any boss responsible for other staff as things like results and budgets. IMO, if a Boss / Manager has to be managed a special way by their staff (who frankly are showing greater leadership and culture values than their manager just by doing so) then, the boss shouldn't be in that managerial position in the first place....

tvmuzik
tvmuzik

You said it spot on. The A--hole I worked for (mentioned in my first comment) to this day has been through 8, yes, EIGHT chefs in the past 2.5 years! All the staff I knew, when I left, are also gone quitting. Serious A--hole boss!

reedak
reedak

Put ambien in their coffee!

DFO_REXX
DFO_REXX

I've had two toxic bosses in my 30 years in the business. For the first, I was as much a problem as he was; in hindsight, I caused some of the trouble, so modifying my own behavior might have worked. Although I wasn't the only one to complain, I was the only one who did so openly and often; that, too, was part of the problem. I know better now. For my second, there was nothing I could do except get out. He was an extreme control freak, to the point of rewriting my code without telling me. For this type of boss, I don't think anything can be done except put up or leave.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

About 4% of the human population suffers from antisocial personality disorder; or, in layman's terms, are sociopaths. If you choose a random group of 25 people, it is very likely one of them is a sociopath. Forbes had a very interesting article about the effect of sociopaths in the office over at http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/19/sociopath-boss-work-forbes-woman-leadership-office-evil.html, Sociopaths can be very effective in business, as they can make choices which appear to be amoral, cold, calculating or downright evil. Since there is no treatment for the disorder, there is no fixing these bosses.

acem77
acem77

Here is crazy situation I am in, I have gotten a 2nd written warning. One from my VP of IT another from a my new Manager. Based on very grey areas mostly out of my control and none have impacted production at any level. During my review I asked about a few key points of my write up, I was told 1. I should not question things as we are a small group and I am slowing down the team. 2. Even though I did not cause issues in production it was cautionary just in case as they see a chance for something to happen. It seems very unfair as other team members have made mistakes that have taken production services down and they have yet to get a written warning. I asked HR about the write up policy as there is not one in the employee hand book, I was told it’s not a union business and my manger can let me go with little to no process. I know in most cases there are two sides to a story and sometime its some were in the middle, but I feel I am really getting the shaft and the pinch to leave and avoid a layoff and paying me unemployment. I want to see if there is any legal recourse I can have if they try to deny me unemployment. Every day I feel it will be my last, its stressful. It’s a shame I have the respect of all my colleagues here present and past even my original manager. I have been here for just over a year, When I 1st started a printer service guy told me the person I replaced was super stressed from the job, he only lasted 2 weeks(odd the service tech noticed that and told me) I have seen my original infrastructure manager, a SAP manager and a SAP analyst quite another SAP analyst go AWAL in 3 weeks, one Microsoft manager termed(closed his position and another SAP manager fired(mutually they say lol). After a year I have more seniority than most of our IT team. I can’t see how the owners of this company can’t see an issue with such high turn over.

angry_white_male
angry_white_male

Been there, done that on a few occasions... no matter how hard I tried - nothing worked. Grievances to HR or upper-management will only backfire and will get you managed out the door. It's a no-win situation. The only viable solution I could find (not just me by other miserable co-workers) is to update resumes, secure references, use up sick/vacation time you'll lose when you quit and go job hunting. Some bosses were fired after I left... some are still there (with a revolving door of more miserable employees).

Mr. Science
Mr. Science

Another way to avoid the toxic boss is that when it is YOUR FAULT something just happened (you know-I know-the American people know it was you fault) then just admit it. Agree with him. Beat him to his own punch! Do a 30 second beat yourself up routine and end it by calling yourself an idiot. If he persists in the crucifixion, lie down and do the playhouse drama thing and use these words (loudly), "What the hey? It must be beat up your employee day! Well? Just go ahead! just keep beating me up! I deserve it!" and with a chuckle its all over. Make that your routine whenever it happens that you made a mistake and he comes after you. It totally ruins a good ass chewing.

Mr. Science
Mr. Science

I used to work for a guy that was hard working and results driven, but always seemed to want to do things "his way" when coming to the fork in the road. No matter how good my idea was, his was better because yada yada yada. I started to pick the opposite way on purpose and sure enough, it worked! The annoying micro-manager who is constantly asking questions and interrupting? Alway answer with another question. Make the question fairly challenging.... and the response will be a "Hmmm. Not sure. Let me go and check ??? and we'll get back to you on that." 9 times out of 10 I'd never hear back. Make sure to have 3 or more harder questions to ask right after that. Properly delivered, those questions will keep the admin away.

lolfml
lolfml

Those are the morons that hired the jerkwad that's torturing you. Better to leave and flip them the bird on the way out.

StreamLineInc
StreamLineInc

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but my last bad boss & job was honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me. Without that bad boss/job, I'd probably still be stuck in an unfulfilling, frustrating job, If you hate your job, use your negative emotions to propel you toward something better. Keep thinking about your crazy boss and lousy job each day, and you can motivate yourself to take actions--even small steps--every day that move you to a better situation. I made the transition from frustrated employee--with a micromanaging boss--to satisfied business owner. I started a consulting business part-time, and built it into my full-time gig, and QUADRUPLED what I used to make at my day job--and have much more flexibility & financial security. Yes, you can try to change someone else, but in my experience, it's easier and more rewarding to change your own situation. Whether you decide to start your own consulting business as I and lots of others have done, you can use a bad job to propel you toward a better place. Greg Miliates StartMyConsultingBusiness dot com

StreamLineInc
StreamLineInc

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but my last bad boss & job was honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me. Without that bad boss/job, I'd probably still be stuck in an unfulfilling, frustrating job, If you hate your job, use your negative emotions to propel you toward something better. Keep thinking about your crazy boss and lousy job each day, and you can motivate yourself to take actions--even small steps--every day that move you to a better situation. I made the transition from frustrated employee--with a micromanaging boss--to satisfied business owner. I started a consulting business part-time, and built it into my full-time gig, and QUADRUPLED what I used to make at my day job--and have much more flexibility & financial security. Yes, you can try to change someone, but in my experience, it's far more rewarding to change your own situation. Whether or not you decide to start your own consulting business as I and lots of others have done, you can use a bad job to propel you toward a better place. Greg Miliates www.StartMyConsultingBusiness.com

GrizzledGeezer
GrizzledGeezer

One is concern for the company you work for and the people you work with. A closely related reason is the desire to do your best work without interference. Perhaps the oddest reason (to some people) is simply respect for your boss as a human being. You should try to help him or her -- within reason. Remember the ship's executive meeting scene in "The Caine Mutiny"? If you pay attention, you'll hear Queeg saying (in effect) "This ship has problems, and I have problems. I would appreciate your help." Instead, because the officers //don't like Queeg//, they refuse to help. (Why do you think is called the Caine?)

GrizzledGeezer
GrizzledGeezer

...who was not in any way an "evil" or mean-spirited person. But he had no idea of how to handle people. A co-worker said "You should have seen him a few years ago!" I worked there for only six months, but I saw improvements in his behavior. He apparently was aware of his problems, and was making slow progress with them. On the other hand, some bad bosses have unfixable problems, such as alcoholism. As for women managing men... Some do an exemplary job. Others seem to feel they have to put men in their place.

kitekrazy
kitekrazy

by thinking it all starts and ends with us

grh
grh

In my mind the place to start is not with our boss but with ourselves. It has been suggested that what we don't like in other people is often something we don't like about ourselves; or resent not having. Other people are like a mirror in many ways and are our refection. Before dismissing that as some new-age pyscho-babble please just give it some honest thought. When reading those suggestions in the article how many thought 'stuff that for a game of soldiers, s/he is a pillock and will always be so long as they have a hole in their bottom' (or something like). Think about the feelings experienced after reading each one and ask why am I feeling them? What is it that invoked the rage, anger, resentment, hostility - unless, of course, you felt love, joy, peace and happiness; but somehow I doubt that. Whilst "Durrrrhh; it's the bossman causing it stupid" is the obvious answer to make, is it really correct? What I'm saying here is that to understand our boss better we have to better understand ourselves. I have worked under toxic bosses and still do and we cannot change them - that is something only they can do. But we can change ourselves and how we react and this rubs off and things change. A good question to start with - and be brutally honest in answering - is this: "Do I WANT things to change or do I like the struggle, the tension or whatever"? Many people will say 'Are you mad, do you think I like a mad moron yelling at me and giving me all this stress; you're out of your tiny mind you pillock!!!' (Or something like). Despite the protests to the contrary often the answer is 'Yes'. Everything we do is our choice and when we recognise that and take responsibility we stop blaming others for things that happen to us and take charge of our lives, we take back the power we gave to others to hold over us. Then things begin to change in all sorts of ways. It's not easy and we will resist and find a hundred empty reasons to remain as we are and if we're happy with that well, fine, more of the same (but stop complaining about it do). Whatever we chose though, it all starts and ends with us.

tvmuzik
tvmuzik

In addition to my previous comment, I must also add that as a blue-collar worker I refuse to donate any portion of my time, head-space, and empathy towards attempts to change any toxic boss into a 'heavenly' boss. Many of us in the blue-collar world do not have the luxury of applying the tips as suggested in the article. I've experienced too few heavenly bosses, and way too many toxic bosses. During prehistoric times, tribesmen went out Hunting to bring food home to their families... hunters all had respect towards one another, and since their common goal was to provide food for their families no single hunter interfered with another. If hunter A made things difficult for hunter B, hunter A was killed on the spot by the other hunters. Lesson: Don't mess with a hunter while he's Working to provide for himself and his family. Employers never learn that lesson. And they wonder why a Disgruntled worker goes "postal" in the workplace! If you're a Toxic Boss, and you treat your employees disrespectfully to the point of driving them to insanity, you can bet you'll have your A-- handed right back to you riddled and carved, if not publicly humiliated.

ITonStandby
ITonStandby

If you work for a complete and total a--hole of a boss, he or she may be a narcissist. Google the word and read some of the definitions you find - you WILL know if you work for one. If that is the case, no amount of "positive" reinforcement will change behavior over the long term. In fact, you will be the one who changes. And not for the better. My advice if you work for a narcissist is to get out as soon as you can. Change departments if possible or hit the streets with the resume. Do NOT look for your dream job. You are looking for something you can live with in the short term. Then, once there, look for the dream job. Lastly, before you go on a job hunt, learn how to spot a bad boss. Study up on behavior and signs to look for. THEN go job hunting. And, always insist on interviewing your future boss. Yes, you can turn the tables. Just don't call it that. Hope this helps someone in distress.

tvmuzik
tvmuzik

...just turn them around and bend them over, yep: A--holes. I worked for an A--hole for over two years. His lies and deceptions, and exploitative Abuse had gotten the worst of me. Then I finally landed a better job elsewhere, got hired, and quit my current job. On my way out the door, I took off my apron and dish towel and threw them at his face and told him to go F- himself and wash his own dang dishes. Problem solved, abusive boss dealt his own medicine, and as for Me: absolutely quite Naturally NO Fx Given. (proud evil grin)

Sarnath
Sarnath

Our company has a programme to provide anonymous feedback to any of our bosses in the hierarchy (including CEO) (or) anyone else from other departments (or) simply anyone whom we have come in contact with. This is done annually and provides good reports stating the good, bad & ugly.

aicmonaghan
aicmonaghan

If your boss has a lot of power over you, I'm sorry to say that the approaches suggested will simply not have any effect. You are better to challenge the behaviour directly - always making sure you have a Plan B! Bad bosses are generally not little kids, even when they behave like them. Their characters are relatively hard to change, and they usually have little motivation to bow to pressure from subordinates. The techniques in this article are far too subtle and superficial to effect significant change. If a bad boss is surviving, I agree that the organisation has bigger issues. Helping him survive is not a good approach. Get higher management attention - or get out!

cfc2000
cfc2000

For the last 20 years of my working life I worked for UK Government Departments. I had some good bosses and some really bad ones, especially towards the end of my time there. But none of them could match the stupidity of the politicians and senior civil servants that made the mad decisions that bosses of whatever quality had to implement. Monumentally expensive IT systems that never worked and had to be scrapped. They did this repeatedly.. Every department with a different IT system. Sometimes every floor and outpost of the same department. The Ministry of Defence was the worst managed, closely followed by the Department of Health.

timothy.retford
timothy.retford

You might be tempted to just jump ship for greener pastures elsewhere if you have the nightmare boss--and how well you get along with your superior should be a key consideration in making that decision, but it won't be the only one: what happens if otherwise you do have your dream job? In addition to the toxic boss, you also have a salary you're more than happy with, good team mates, tasks that keep you interested, and other perks that don't make it so easy to say, "I'm outta here!"? This article offers some good starting advice to think about if you're looking to face your personality conflicts instead of running away from them.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Why? The only reason the idea of managing your boss is being put forward, is because his boss (who may or may not be toxic as well) is not managing him. Try and get out more often...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

There's a difference between choosing to put up with a bad boss because the alternatives are worse and feeling you have no choice but to keep letting your boss abuse you. Only the former will spur you into constructive attempts at improving your situation. The latter is giving up, don't.

acem77
acem77

Thanks for the link sounds just like my new manager....

Guy1955
Guy1955

I have to say, I definetly not a bleed heart and I do not feel it is my place to fix a boss. I have had many over the years and taking a role in fixing a boss like a child is offensive to me. I get paid as he or she does and needs to know and understand their position. Take respponsibility for your actions and let them take responsibility fot theirs. No more bleeding heart crap and tell them they are bad and move on if needed. I have no problem with taking them to HR and or taking them to court if needed. I have a neighbor everyone calls high strung I call him A-Hole call a rose a rose and if it not then kick them to the curb. You can not always get rid of the bad boss but you can make his life a miserable as he makes yours but be ready to leave. I say don't run fight back and have a paln B. You can survive a bad boss battle. If h owns the company then leave, he will not change. I am not going to treat a boss like a child and try and reinforce good behavior he had a father and a mother let them finish the job.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

I have already signed another employers contract but am biding time. I was "written up" formally for being late to a meeting (was on site with a customer, closing a deal instead), at which I laughed because writing people up is so childish. I explained that I was a sales rep, there's no need to write me up, sales reps can be fired in a heartbeat. I then chuckled and asked what time detention was and walked out or his office. What a clown, 'write you up', oh noooo, anything but that! Do I need to take it home and get my mum to sign it too? A few days later, he didn't make a sales meeting that HE was supposed to conduct, though with no concept of the SaaS sales process (or any other sales process for that matter), so I wrote HIM up for missing the meeting. LOL, Write me up, for God's sake, if you want to fire me, just fire me! I don't work on the three strikes BS, writing people up is so stupid. Instead of making people straighten up and stop whatever they were written up for, it creates even more angst and the person you write up is certain to be moving on real soon. [i]"I cant see how the owners of this company cant see an issue with such high turn over."[/i] It's due to an inability to accept that THEY are responsible. Same thing where i work now, a revolving door where you don't want to get to attached to the animals as they will soon get well and leave again. I laugh at it though, three guys i have worked with before at other companies came and left within 6 months, literally pushed out the door due to micro management. Boss sent me email yesterday commenting that my pipeline for July was weak and he wanted me to review it and provide answers. I waited 10 minutes then sent an email saying "I reviewed my pipeline for the month and you are right, it's weak." He's the type of guy who asks a question but doesn't want the answer anyway. Telling him he's right is all that matters.

TRgscratch
TRgscratch

when I interview, I always ask "Why is this job open now?" or some variation of "what happened to the last guy?". If the answer includes something like " five people in six years" you know you're in for trouble

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

I like to take all the blame right up front, whether I am actually to blame or not. Then ask, "..but do you actually think I did it simply to be malicious and create a problem or was it an honest mistake ?" People who point fingers want to impart blame, take it on the chin and ask them 'now what?' and they quickly shut up. I really PO'd one manager who was reaming out a colleague and I walked up and cheerfully said, 'I did it". After a few stumped moments, he said "I know you didn't so why would you step up?" I said "because she has a thin skin and feels really embarrassed and scared when you start reaming her out. She didn't do it purposely so if you want to bitch at someone to feel better, bitch at me" He never did again but he didn't bug my colleague either.

the-dream
the-dream

I had a job that should have been covered by three or more people. Although I enjoyed my work and being close to home, I was severely underpaid and overworked. But I was reluctant to branch out and leave. Enter from stage left, a new manager. She decided that I was not good enough to do any of the work that I had been doing for a number of years before her arrival and made things very difficult for many workers. Eyes opened, I saw the light, did the math and saw that unemployment checks would not feed my family and I found a better job in a very short time. Sometimes a bad boss can remind you that you should always be ready for the next job. Interestingly, this boss left that company only a few months after I moved on. Timing is everything.

the-dream
the-dream

There are way too many managers with little or no people skills. Some lead by fear and intimidation and others have no idea how to build a team or resolve issues because they are intimidated by their subordinates. Very frustrating when that happens.

Histrion2
Histrion2

"Many of us in the blue-collar world do not have the luxury of applying the tips as suggested in the article." Okay, but to be fair, TechRepublic isn't writing for a blue-collar audience.

Uncle Stoat
Uncle Stoat

"If hunter A made things difficult for hunter B, hunter A was killed on the spot by the other hunters." oooooh, so tempting. (If enough employees are pissed off, then it's possible to bring this about by going to the tribal chieftan. Your Boss is usually an underling too) Unfortunately such toxic employees are usually ejected with utterly glowing references in order to ensure he doesn't cause further problems - which in turn causes more problems for someone else. (aka: Beware of references. Large numbers are faked and even the genuine ones are suspect.)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

a HR FUD argument. No ones runs from a toxic boss, they skip, whistling a cheery tune. PS further up the food chain != superior

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

I was told, this guy moved to China to work for his dad's real estate business. Another guy left to move to Toronto, he was going to open a pilot office but has mental issues and disappeared. The first guy used to work for me, he actually works close by for another company, I helped him get the job. The second guy went to Toronto because his father was ill but now works close by also. Both left due to the bosses miro-management and constant lies. So when I was given such a BS reply by the boss, I told him right off that I knew both of them and they were both in town but left due to him. Dummy STILL hired me. MYSELF. being even dumber it seems. still took the job, it's massive coin and good for a bit anyway, but I have a new place waiting for me now.

the-dream
the-dream

She was allegedly getting death threats from one of the people she fired and this may have contributed to her hasty departure. As was stated earlier, these toxic bosses mess with the wrong people at times and things can get dicey.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

I am a licenced mechanic, an apprentice machinist, boiler maker and yet have been in sales, artist management and IT for a long time too. It is no different in an office or a jobsite, aresholes are arseholes. On a jobsite you can say FO and leave, in an office you can say FO and leave. To think of 'adjusting a boss', to me, is ludicrous! It's HIS company let it sink and run while you can. I will try and get my own ideas into effect but if not, then I laugh and walk out, NEXT PLEASE!