Having had such a crucial role in managing and developing leaders for over 20 years, we’ve seen first hand the toxic behaviors that ruin organizations and drive staff away. This article discusses four of them. Here we go.
1. They Set Unrealistic Goals and Expectations.
The difference between a good and toxic boss can often be found in how far they stretch their expectations. A good boss will challenge their team to reach new heights by setting goals and then supporting them along the way.
A toxic boss, however, will set goals that are beyond reasonable and then simply expect it to be done. This does nothing but disgruntle employees and will leave them feeling hopeless and disengaged.
2. They Only Want to Call the Shots.
Toxic bosses have it their way or the highway. They demand and ridicule their opinion to convince others that no alternative idea will work. In the case that it doesn’t work, they then don’t know how to fix the problem.
A good boss, however, is open to all ideas and opinions. They’re not concerned about being right, but just want to get it right. If another person presents a better idea, then they’re happy to build upon it and find a solution.
3. They Fear Facing Conflict.
In the event that something needs fixing or a potential conflict arises, toxic bosses are often suddenly “busy” or simply deflect the conflict by saying, “Talk to someone else.”
A good boss, however, is open to both good and news. If something has gone wrong, then they want to hear about it and make it right. The smooth running of their organization and the satisfaction of their employees is one of their highest priorities.
4. They Wield Their Power Over Others.
There are often times where a toxic boss will misuse their power to exert their own sense of control and bring others down. This can look like criticizing their staff in front of others or being manipulative, for example.
Good bosses, however, make everyone feel inclusive. Their power is not used for serving their own agenda, but simply leading everyone towards a shared goal.