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At least once in our life we will all have the unfortunate luck to work for a complete tyrant known as a boss.  This is the kind of person that will make all your other work experiences in your life seem like heaven.  The extremes of a toxic boss’s behavior can be different for everyone, but the same feelings of unhappiness and uneasiness experienced on the receiving end will be universal by everyone. Unfortunately, this can have a very negative impact on overall workplace culture.


More often than not, red flags that show that your manager is unhealthy and toxic to be around can be noticed right from the get go.  If not during the interview, than within a couple of weeks on the job, the feeling of dread and ambivalence of having to go to work will surface for you.  In a nutshell, such negativity should not be tolerated by anyone, least of which an employee.


Following are some warning signs not to be overlooked or sugar coated.  If they occur in your workplace, it is time to get your resume career accomplishments together and start looking for another job.


Identifying A Toxic Boss

Probably the first observation you see in a bad manager is someone with poor communication skills.  This person will likely use a bad set of word choices.  In addition, he will see his way of thinking and decision making as the end all be all.  Contributions of different views will not be tolerated or condoned and people will genuinely be apprehensive to speak up.


Another red flag that is rather common to all bad bosses is the use of fear as a motivational tool.  This is a sure fire sign that it’s time for you to make a career change. The result of this kind of negative style of managing means people will be threatened, humiliated, and there will be dread of being fired.  In short, the doom and gloom will prevail in the work environment and continue over into people’s performance.


A third identification that you are dealing with a bad manager is if he has certain employees which he has passed on entitlements.  These people never take ownership or responsibility for anything in the workplace.  They simply wait around to be handed the silver platter while everyone else does the work.  No one would ever get away with this kind of behavior unless they have been given the right to act like this way.


Other warning signs include a boss who has:

  • a bad outlook
  • excessive paranoia
  • unusual distrust
  • self-absorption


In the same way an effective boss can create a healthy, creative, and efficient work environment, a toxic boss could create the complete opposite.  If you have the bad luck to be a part of the latter office, your whole life will have negative implications from such a job.  In order to make the right change, you must be able to recognize the warning sign as early as possible – even during the interview stage.  Be a keen observer and allow contemplation to what your instincts tell you which often provide the best indicators.

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