Having a supportive and encouraging boss can make all the difference in your work life. Research shows that 2 in 5 people quit their manager not their jobs.

Truth is some managers can make your work environment feel like a battleground rather than a place of productivity and growth. How can you tell if your boss falls into this category? Here are five unmistakable signs:

  1. Micromanagement madness

Micromanagement is the bane of many employees’ existence. If your boss is constantly looking over your shoulder, nitpicking every detail of your work, and generally hovering like a helicopter, you might have a micromanager on your hands. This behaviour not only stifles creativity and autonomy but also demonstrates a fundamental lack of trust in your abilities.

  1. Communication breakdown

Clear communication is the cornerstone of any healthy working relationship, but toxic bosses often seem to have missed the memo. If your boss is vague or evasive when giving instructions, rarely provides feedback (positive or negative), and generally leaves you in the dark about important decisions, you’re likely dealing with a communication-challenged leader. You may even feel like you are the problem- you aren’t its them!

  1. Blame games

Toxic bosses have a knack for deflecting blame and avoiding responsibility like it’s an Olympic sport. If something goes wrong, you can bet they’ll be pointing fingers in every direction except their own. Not only is this behaviour unfair and demoralising, but it also fosters a toxic work culture where no one feels safe admitting mistakes or taking risks.

  1. Unrealistic expectations

Setting ambitious goals can be motivating, but there’s a fine line between ambitious and downright unrealistic. If your boss constantly piles on the work, sets impossible deadlines, and expects you to perform miracles with limited resources, you’re likely facing a case of unrealistic expectations. This not only leads to burnout and stress but also sets everyone up for failure.

  1. Favouritism frenzy

Fairness and equity should be non-negotiable in any workplace, but toxic bosses often play favourites, showing preferential treatment to certain employees while neglecting or even sabotaging others. If you’ve noticed a pattern of promotions, opportunities, and praise being lavished on the same select few, while the rest of the team struggles to get noticed, it’s a clear sign of favouritism at play.

Dealing with a toxic boss can be challenging, but recognising these signs is the first step towards taking action. Whether it’s having a candid conversation with your boss, seeking support from HR, or considering a change of scenery, remember that you deserve to work in an environment where you feel respected, supported, and valued.

Tell Jane offers anti-bullying and harassment training to equip leaders and employees with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify and challenge toxic workplace behaviour. Get started
today by emailing us for a brochure.

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