With your new boss, going to work has become a nightmare… How to recognize a toxic manager? And what is the right attitude to adopt? The answers from Johanna Rozenblum, clinical psychologist and author of “Déconditionnez-vous” published by Le Courrier du Livre.
The manager has an essential role in the company. He must know how to motivate, interact with his colleagues respectfully and know how to reframe situations that require it. But sometimes, as in all other types of human relationships, a manager can be toxic. How to realize this? Here are the signs not to be missed.
You have to see if it blows hot and cold
This is typical behavior of a toxic person. “The manager will show a changeable mood towards us. We can be in complete confidence one day and the next day he will show aggression or domination.” explains Johanna Rozenblum.
It uses information about your private life
Recounting your son’s latest mistake or your sister-in-law’s wedding happens to all of us at work. “But with a toxic manager, he will use this information as a weapon, a tool to hurt us.” explains the psychologist. “A way to subjugate us and create a posture of ascendancy, in a way”.
The lack of respect
Another sign that should worry us: lack of respect. “At work, there can be a good atmosphere between colleagues, but this should never go beyond the framework of respect” adds our expert.
Playing with words (and requests)
When a manager is toxic, their demands will not be clear. “He will constantly play with words, make unclear requests: this allows him to reproach later, telling us for example that he had been clear, when not at all. Everything is done to suggest that we misunderstand or that we are not up to the task.“explains the specialist.
He spends several days ignoring us
Another of the toxic techniques is ignorance. “A toxic manager may spend days in a row ignoring their victim and pretending they don’t exist.“. A situation that obviously makes you really uncomfortable at work.
It is intrusive, and exceeds the private sphere
The toxic manager has no limits. “He will send messages and exert strong pressure by being intrusive in the employee’s life, at inappropriate times, sometimes day or night.” further indicates Johanna Rozenblum.
He doesn’t keep his promises
As a manager, he has a certain power over important decisions, for the careers of certain people. “The problem is that a toxic manager will not keep his promises, in terms of a raise for example, even if on our side, the requested work has been done. No promise is followed by action, whereas we invested himself” adds our expert.
Divide and rule
Be careful of what a toxic manager may tell you about your other colleagues. “A manager of this type will have no qualms about pitting people on the same team against each other, following the proverb: ‘Divide and conquer'” warns the clinical psychologist.
It has a positive image
The toxic manager, despite everything, manages to have a good image. “He benefits from a kind of indulgence, he has the posture of a unifying, invested man (or woman). Very often, the toxic side and the manipulation only take place quietly, in silence..
He is always right
Impossible to fight against a toxic manager. “He will always be right, no matter what. And as she is a person who has words, she has no shortage of arguments to prove that she is right, even if it is false. adds our expert.
How to deal with a toxic manager?
After reading this article, you realize that you are indeed facing a toxic manager. What to do in this case? To preserve your mental and physical health, only one response is appropriate for this type of situation: flight. “The best solution, as every time you are in contact with a toxic person, is to flee. These people have narcissistic profiles, they never question themselves, the problem is always the other” first analyzes Johanna Rozenblum.
Here are some tips to follow, according to Johanna Rozenblum
When it is not possible to leave work immediately, according to Johanna Rozenblum:
- “Talk a minimum about yourself, so as not to give any information that could possibly be reused against you;
- Remain emotionally neutral, so that he has nothing to reproach us for;
- Answer his questions with other questions;
- Be as impalpable as possible, so that he feels neither weakness nor fragility, in order to avoid being a potential prey, with any power he could;
- Finding, in the more or less long term, a way out of no longer being part of this person’s environment.