Constant criticism, nit-picking, toxic environment, undermining, denial, refusal to value? Sounds like bullying
The toxic boss or toxic manager. We've all encountered them. Moody, aggressive, unpredictable, incompetent, always blaming other people. A compulsive liar with a Jekyll and Hyde nature, the individual, male or female, is always charming and plausible when management are around.
Toxic bosses and toxic managers prevent staff doing their jobs and prevent employees fulfilling their duties. They thrive in a toxic work environment. Unpredictable moods, conflicting demands, inconsistent orders, random decision-making, inability to plan strategically, inability and unwillingness to communicate and co-operate, obstructive ... the list goes on. If management suddenly appoint a toxic boss as your manager, you'll realise that toxic shock syndrome is not just a female condition. If you've got a toxic manager, your problems have just begun. And they won't get better.
When you tackle the toxic manager, you feel like you've gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson. And everything will be your fault. You have a "negative attitude", you're a "poor performer", you're "not up to the job", and so on. If you get as far as alerting personnel or human resources management, it'll be a "personality clash". In truth, this is a projection of the bully's own negative attitude, poor performance, and incompetence.
How do you recognise a toxic boss?
To recognise a toxic boss from their behaviour profile, click here. To recognise toxic bosses from the effects of their behaviour, look for unusually high levels of the following in the immediate (and not so immediate) vicinity of the toxic manager concerned:
What can you do?
Have a look at the profile of the serial bully. If this applies, surf the rest of Bully OnLine for insight and guidance. Start with the Site map. See my page on taking action.
If you're an employer, recognise the damage - and cost - the toxic manager is wreaking on your organisation and the negative impact on the bottom line. Understand the vicarious liability that the employer is incurring as a result of the toxic manager's behaviour. Be able to recognise the different types of bullying.
Taking legal action
The only way to deal with a toxic boss is to either take grievance action and legal action, or leave. Working with a toxic boss is not possible. You cannot change the toxic boss. Your health will suffer. Your career will suffer. Your marriage will suffer. Your family life will suffer. If you can't take legal action, see moving or leaving as a positive decision to not allow your career to be held back, your livelihood destroyed, your health damaged and your marriage wrecked by an idiot.
Contract of employment
Every employee has a contract of employment which spells out what both the employee and employer expect of each other. The contract has an implied term (implied, because this is not usually put in writing) that both the employer and employee will act on an honourable and trustworthy manner. If one party behaves in a manner which is not honourable or trustworthy, then this is a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence - in other words, a breach of contract.
Injury to health
Working with or for a toxic manager causes injury to health from prolonged negative stress. Stress is not the employee's inability to cope with excessive workloads or the unwelcome attentions of toxic manager; stress is a consequence of the employer's failure to provide a safe system of work as required by the UK Health And Safety At Work Act 1974.
If negative stress has caused injury to health (anxiety, fatigue etc), click here. Over time, the injury results in trauma, the collective symptoms of which are described by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The focus of Bully OnLine is bullying in the workplace. I believe half the population are bullied or harassed or abused; click here to see if this fits your experience in life. Many emailers and callers to my UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line are dealing with a serial bully at work. Some are living with a serial bully. Bully OnLine provides insight and practical information to validate the bullying people are experiencing.
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