8 Big Signs Your New Boss May Be Toxic

When you’re the newest person on a team, it can be hard to tell if your boss’s rude and abrupt behavior is the result of a bad day or if he has a toxic reputation for creating an environment of fear and frustration. anxiety for its employees.

A difficult boss who micromanages can be reasoned with. But a toxic boss who lacks empathy can harm your physical and mental health, causing you to lose sleep and dread every day at work.

Sometimes you may not be able to spot toxic behavior right away, but other times it is possible to identify a toxic boss who will chase you away and make your work life hell.

Here are some of the biggest warning signs that the friendly boss you met in a job interview may have a toxic side:

1. Your boss is quick to speak ill of the person you just replaced.

Angela Karachristos, a career coach who has worked in human resources, said a subtle sign new hires may notice is when their new boss talks badly about team members who have left.

“If you’re new and your new boss still doesn’t know why someone left and still takes it personally, that’s a sign you can spot early on,” Karachristos said. This highlights “the fact that the manager does not separate his personal feelings about an employee from the work he has done or [the employee’s] own need to move forward.

Public badmouthing is also passive-aggressive because it signals “that the behavior is unacceptable” without telling you directly, Karachristos said. “They don’t tell you what their expectations are, but they use the former employee as an example.”

2. Your boss will congratulate himself, but not praise anyone else.

One way to detect toxic boss behavior is to see how hard work and team victories are rewarded. Do you get a thoughtful message of support after completing a big project, or do you get radio silence?

If you notice that your boss says nothing when you win but makes a big deal of his own accomplishments, that’s a worrying sign of potential toxicity.

One type of toxic boss is a narcissistic boss. “These are individuals who are fundamentally incapable of caring for others or showing genuine interest in those who work for them. Instead, they tend to be disconnected from others,” said Alan Cavaiola, clinical psychologist and co-author of “Impossible to Please: How to Deal With Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses, and Other Incredibly Critical People.” Narcissists expect praise and adulation from others, but are unable to give it to deserving staff.”

3. Your boss keeps ignoring you

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One of the worst types of bosses is one that ignores you.

Be on your guard if you notice your new boss skipping one-on-one meetings and showing no interest in helping you, even though you’re their newest team member.

If you feel like you barely exist for your boss, that’s a sign of potential toxicity, says Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior. and Thrive in Your Job”.

Under this kind of boss, “you feel like you have to constantly get their attention to provide feedback. Their door is often closed and conversations are rare,” Taylor said. “You’re led to believe they’re just busy, but then you realize they lack motivational managerial skills, to say the least.”

Taylor said you might encounter this challenging behavior in subtle or blatant ways. “When you’re in a new job, it takes some time to figure out if it’s just a bad week for your boss or his default behavior,” she said.

4. Your boss only cares if you meet a deadline and doesn’t give feedback on how you can grow

Toxic bosses prioritize the exit over your entry. If your boss has a “do it” mentality, that could be a toxic red flag, career coach Jasmine Escalera said.

“It should be our boss’s job to think about the best way to work, what we need to do our jobs, and how we can really grow in our roles and across the company,” he said. she declared. “Toxic bosses aim to get the job done, but don’t focus on your own development and work needs that exploit your strengths and skills.”

A good boss is one who communicates their goals and is willing to have difficult conversations with their staff. “Essentially, a manager who has zero conflict resolution skills will more than likely turn out to be toxic and not have a psychologically safe work environment for their team,” said Minda Harts, founder of The Memo LLC, a company career development for women. of color.

5. Your boss changes his mind all the time regardless of the stress it causes on the team

A characteristic of a toxic boss is a lack of empathy. A good boss is aware of the time and energy that his staff puts into meeting his expectations.

But a toxic boss is ready to change his mind at any time, regardless of the team’s energy or stress level. “They become very focused on one thing,” Karachristos said. “He becomes everyone’s only center of attention. There’s no clear plan, but it’s all on deck, [but then] suddenly it is no more. This state of mind changing situation can be very dangerous because you are pushing people to fail.

“It can cause a lot of anxiety in the team because you don’t know what’s expected,” Karachristos continued. “The first time you might be okay with it, but if it becomes a pattern, then you’re still nervous because you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do.”

“You wonder if it’s you, because it’s a new job. You had attributed it to your boss having a bad day, but now you see a trend.

– Lynn Taylor, Workplace Expert

6. Your new colleagues act totally differently around your boss.

It is normal that we act more formally with our managers than with our peers. But if you notice a frightening pallor on staff when the boss enters a room, that’s a warning sign to watch out for.

“If you notice that together the team talks freely and openly about issues and problems and whatever they’re working on, but when the boss is around the conversations are much more cautious or measured, or things don’t aren’t brought to light lest the boss react one way or another,” that’s a warning sign, Karachristos said.

The fact that your colleagues do not want to share their thoughts on your boss is also a sign. “At first, other co-workers will avoid talking about the boss, which will make you suspect that they, too, are having similar issues,” Taylor said.

7. You notice the boss showing favoritism towards certain team members

If you realize your boss has a team favorite, that’s a troubling toxic sign of a boss who puts their own personal biases ahead of shared professional goals.

Taylor shared an example: “When you were interviewed, you liked the projects that were given to you. But now your difficult boss suddenly gives them to the proverbial ‘professor’s pet’, and you’re often the last to get it. to know.

A boss with favorites may also have colleagues he considers enemies. Beware of vague and subjective comments from these bosses that are based on someone’s personal attributes rather than their ability to do the job well.

“I had a manager who kept referring to everything in vibes. ‘I don’t know, that employee is giving me bad vibes.’ That’s such a shame. It’s not quantifiable. It doesn’t really makes no sense,” Karachristos said.

8. Your boss gets on your nerves and scares you to talk about it

Ultimately, one of the biggest signs you’re dealing with a toxic boss is how badly they make you feel. If you’re starting to dread the workday and you’re only a few weeks away, that’s not a feeling to ignore.

Under a toxic boss, “you don’t know when or where your manager will say or do something hurtful, so you’re in a constant state of the unknown,” Taylor said. “You wonder if it’s you – like this is a new job. You had attributed it to your boss having a bad day, but now you see a trend.

Because toxic behavior from managers can be subtle or easy to explain, it can be easier to notice changes in your own behavior around them, said Lara Hogan, author of “Resilient Management.”

“Do you talk a lot less in the team meetings they lead? Do you hold back from sharing information with them for fear of retaliation? Are you starting to choose your words very carefully around them? Do you avoid being in a room or calling alone with your manager? Hogan said. “These are all potential signals to you that your manager’s behavior could have a significant negative impact on you.”


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