Toxic Manager – how to respond

Toxic Manager – how to respond

Danger – Red Light flashing. Toxic Manager About!

How well do you get on with your manager? Easy question really, isn’t it? You would be surprised how many people are not clear about the answer. They don’t know what the manager/team leader/supervisor really thinks about them, or the work they do. Sometimes, this is because they, themselves, lack the communication skills necessary to understand the message the manager is sending. Sometimes, it is because the manager doesn’t communicate well with the rest of the team.

Getting on well with the boss matters hugely in terms of your career success. Plus, the stress caused when things go wrong can have a negative effect on your health and well-being. Stress can lead to anxiety and depression which in turn affect life at home as well as at work.

You can find out how you’re doing by listening and watching how the person in charge behaves. You need to observe not only how they behave with you, but also how they behave with other people. It is easier, of course, if you have frequent contact with your manager. But, even if you do not, you can try to learn as much as possible about them and how they behave from others. Ask your questions with care, though, you don’t want it to get back that you think you may have a problem.

Here is a mini-health-check based on one in my little eBook; “How to Get on With Boss.”  It will help you get clearer about the relationship climate in your workplace.

Signs that all is well;

  • You belong to a happy team who work well together
  • You feel accepted by all
  • Each day your manager greets you and the others by name
  • Everyone feels at ease with him/her
  • You get regular and constructive feedback from your manager
  • You are not worried about asking for help when you need it
  • If something does go wrong you feel you can tell your manager about it and get a reasonable response.

If most of these things are happening for you, all is well and you are getting on well with our manager. Celebrate because, unfortunately, I suspect you are one of the happy few.

Signs that all is not well;

  • The team is generally unhappy
  • Everyone moans about your manager
  • The manager doesn’t seem to know who you are
  • The manager doesn’t seem to want to know anything about you
  • They don’t offer support
  • Feedback, if you get it, is definitely not positive
  • People are afraid to ask for help
  • Everyone is frightened of telling the boss when something goes wrong
  • People feel threatened
  • There is lots of gossip but no one really knows what is going on “up the line” or elsewhere in the organization

Signs like this mean that all is not well. Neither you, nor the other members of the team, are getting on with the person in charge. You need to take action to ensure your toxic manager doesn’t damage you, your career, your health or your happiness. You can find out more about my little eBook at this link.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. Get in touch at the email address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


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