According to research, 36 percent of American workers
have a boss whose leadership style could be described as “dysfunctional.”
“The cultures that exist in organizations enable these individuals to remain in, and even advance within, the workplace,” explains Kevin Rose,
an assistant professor of organizational leadership and learning at the University of Louisville, and the lead author of a recent study on bad bosses.
Seth M. Spain, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Binghamton University, State University of New York,
studies what social scientists call the “dark triad” of personality traits:
Psychopathy, Narcissism and Machiavellianism.
Narcissism is likely the most common bad boss personality trait because studies show that narcissists tend to get ahead.
They’re so full of themselves and so sure they’re right that they project the kind of confidence that’s often mistaken for leadership capability.
Machiavellian types don’t care whose hands they step on along the way, they can ascend the corporate ladder more easily.
And once they claw their way to the top, bad bosses stay there by running roughshod over their underlings
and creating a climate where no one wants to risk making them angry by bringing up their flaws.
If the boss picks on everybody, seek support from your co-workers.
Since they know what you’re going through, they can empathize with you.
It may help build a political alliance that could help protect you from the bad boss.
Sadly, your best option may be to keep your head down and quietly update your resume.
SIX SIGNS YOUR WORKPLACE MAY BE TOXIC
1.) You’re told to feel “lucky you have a job.”
If you’ve ever heard this statement from your boss or HR, it’s a major red flag.
This scare tactic is a means of threatening you into staying in a marginalized position,
and is symptomatic of an organization that thrives on bullying behavior and control.
2.) Everyone has a bad attitude.
If you walk into work and everyone around you is miserable, a la “Office Space,”
then you may be trapped in a hostile environment.
In this type of office,
there is no enthusiasm; no one coming in with smiles on their faces and no one ever says “I love working here.”
3.) There’s always office drama.
There’s always rumors or gossip floating around the office; misunderstanding, favoritism, and infighting are the norm.
4.) Dysfunction reigns.
If new policies or regulations are constantly getting added, or if management is never around to help solve problems,
these are symptoms of a larger problem stemming from poor leadership and low morale.
5.) You have a tyrannical boss.
This type of boss is always trying to control your every move and you feel as if he or she is just waiting to pounce on you for messing up.
Toxic bosses usually seem unwilling to listen to others and feel as if their way is always the right way.
Your boss loves wielding his or her power and showing others that they’re in charge.
6.) You feel in your gut something is off.
When it comes to your instincts in this situation, trust them.
If you feel like something is fishy at work, chances are you're right.
The first step to detoxifying is
recognizing and becoming more aware of the dysfunctional patterns surrounding you.
while you may not have control of the people and situations around you,
you always have a choice about how you respond.