Story #1: Your colleague spontaneously asks you to present updates in front of the company during the meeting in 15 minutes, because he’s running late. No handover. You agree, because what can go wrong? It won’t be perfect, but it’s an emergency, so all good. After the meeting you are heavily criticized by his superiors and blamed for the presentation not being perfect.
Story #2: You are a product owner responsible for the strategic direction of future developments. You are not able to get a hold of the stakeholders ever and you’re not being involved in the conversations about the future of the products, but you are being blamed that your strategy is not aligned with the one of the company.
Story #3: You are an underpaid designer with a migration background, working 70 hours a week on a project with a tough deadline. Your superior is not engaged in the process at all, but a couple of days before the final date, he criticizes all you did so far based on feedback from the team. After days of stress and attempts to redo the tasks, you accidentally find out, that no one from the team actually gave feedback, that the client was happy so far and it was just a whim of your boss.
I could go like that for hours.
We’ve all heard the saying “toxic work culture,” but what about toxic management? Unfortunately, bad leaders (sounds like an oxymoron to me…) are all too common in the workplace, and they can have a negative impact on employee morale, productivity, and even physical and mental health. It’s important to recognize the signs of toxic management and know how to deal with it.
Let’s take a look at some obvious signs: