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How Do We Know We Are Working With A Toxic Manager? How Do We Cope?

Toxic managers can be encountered in every organization with their destructive behaviors, and ineffective and one-sided communications, which reduce the motivation of the employees and bring them to the point of dismissal by reducing their productivity. A study by Gallup Research Company concluded that 50% of employees had encountered a toxic manager at least once in their professional life.

Because of their personalities and styles, these executives, who undermine self-confidence by increasing stress and anxiety, are one of the biggest problems of organizations. To maintain their position, the information and reports they give to the senior management are always based on their perspectives. Since top managements receive detailed information in this way, they unknowingly become an intermediary in the formation and growth of adverse situations in the organization. They can hide their bad intentions in the short term thanks to their strong personalities. However, they have posed a severe danger to organizations for a long time.

It is not easy to understand that a manager is toxic, that is, poisonous. However, it is possible to understand this from the effects on employees due to their behavior patterns. However, it should be noted that; toxic managers do not see themselves as poisonous and try to show that they are right in every situation.

Personality traits of toxic managers; incompetent, complaining, unwilling to take responsibility, weak moral values, ambitious, selfish, arrogant, stingy, dishonest, hateful, and abusive. On the other hand, A manager who speaks loudly is determined and constantly demanding and will not be toxic, while a manager with a naive and sincere attitude can be toxic. In other words, choosing the state of being contaminated is not something that can be understood at first glance, and it is necessary to evaluate it through the consequences it creates on people.

Toxic managers first limit and destroy people’s creativity using tight control mechanisms. By keeping the information and communication network under their control, they restrict and isolate the relations of the employees with each other. As the relationships become intangible, the feeling of trust decreases and employee relations decrease accordingly.

What common characteristics do toxic managers have?

So, as an employee, how can we understand that our manager is toxic?

  1. They exhibit humiliating behavior.
  2. They highlight mistakes.
  3. They become defensive and aggressive against the negative feedback.
  4. They like to exert power over others and do not avoid it,
  5. They do not hesitate to say insulting, embarrassing, and condescending words,
  6. Since their conscientious and moral aspects are not developed, they do everything not to lose their position,
  7. They like to be praised and have such employees around them.
  8. They use inconsistent behavior and words. It is difficult to predict when he will praise, when, and what he will react to.
  9. They monitor their employees closely, keep them under constant control, and use the private information they obtain against them.
  10. In a one-on-one conversation, they are friendly but behave very differently behind your back.
  11. They see people who realize their inadequacy as targets to be controlled and digested.
  12. They provoke the people they target by targeting other employees,
  13. By slandering people, they impose them on other employees as if they were real,
  14. They try to intimidate the employees by shouting with angry outbursts.
  15. They classify their employees as self and non-self and always keep themselves close.

The problems of toxic managers are not with people who approve of them but with people who see themselves as superior in terms of experience, knowledge, talent, and personality traits.

How should you proceed once you realize you are working with a toxic manager?

Make up your mind

The first thing you need to do is think about staying or leaving and evaluate the available options. Remember whether you are trapped or not. Assess how much pressure you are under and how much the current situation has had on you mentally and physically. If you decide to stay and continue, As this will affect your mental health, you will need to develop coping strategies.

Focus on your business

When you decide to stay, you should focus on your work. You should set a goal to do your job well. Get rid of victim thoughts. It would be best if you worked on performing as well as possible by focusing on the work your manager has given you. Managers don’t care in the least about what you think about them. Your manager usually doesn’t care how much you dislike him. If you do your job well, you will make him see you less as a target. In this way, you can ensure that your manager is appreciated and even promoted by top managers, so it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to rise away from you.

Protect your borders

Be polite, honest, transparent, and, at the same time, distant. A safe distance will protect you from potential adverse effects.

Have a registry

If you are under pressure, insecure, or abusive, you should keep detailed records. Provided that there are no exaggerations and accurate descriptions, documents with provable documents will make you stronger and protect you from possible setbacks. With this, If you feel that you are being harassed, never accept this situation and do not hesitate to report it to senior managers.

No situation is eternal.

Despite everything, it is possible to say that managers who want to hold power often change their positions because of this attitude. No matter how frustrating your situation is, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to deal with it for too long. Therefore, you should focus on developing your skills and connections during this time to ensure your continued success.

Remember that these managers reflect themselves differently from the top management and are very successful in manipulating people. If you want to maintain your presence in the current workplace, it is possible to deal with a toxic manager with the right strategy.