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  • Writer's picturePeter McKenzie

Toxic Leaders (2)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

With a toxic boss, your life is a mess. So you need an escape plan. Don´t panic, here it comes….

1. Analyse the situation with a cool head

Exactly what is happening? Is there anything that your boss could be annoyed or upset about that you can change? Don´t over dramatise the situation.List down everything that is happening and stay calm.

2. Communicate with your toxic boss

Prepare carefully a meeting with your boss. Tell him or her exactly what you see is happening. Ask for their view. Listen to what they say carefully. Explain how you feel and how you see the situation. Try to stay calm and don´t accept blame for anything that you have not done or that you believe is not fair. Hold your ground and try to negotiate and agree a way forward.

3. Connect with your colleagues, family and friends

It is important to talk the situation through with others and not feel alone. Your colleagues will confirm that you are not being paranoid as a toxic boss is clear for all to see. Friends and family will confirm your self worth which is something to vital to maintain in such a complicated situation.

4. Stay fit and healthy

In this situation, when your head will be over-thinking all of the time, it is key you stay healthy, eat and sleep well and get exercise. Get outside and walk whenever you can. You are in a war and your physical health will be a key weapon to maintain your mental sanity.

5. Plan for the worst

A tip from the Stoic philosopher, Seneca. List out your fears and the very worst outcome that can occur. What is that? You lose your job? What would you do then? What is the plan? Could you get another job? Would you be unemployed for ever? Would you starve to death? Probably not, right?! Doing this exercise will reduce your anxiety, stress and FEAR – which is exactly what toxic boss is feeding off!

6. Resign

If all else fails and your boss simply carries on in the same manner, then you have to leave. Life is simply too short to live with and work for such a person. It will take a toll on your health, as we saw in the previous post. Time to get out. This has to be done with a calm head and after working through the other points. If you have done that, you will already know what you will do next, so head for the door and don´t look back… 

Finally, what did I do with my own toxic boss? Well exactly what I have described above. I did see out some months in the company, but in the end I had to leave. Now upon reflection maybe I held on too long, but looking back I know I got to the right choice in the end. That toxic boss continues to chew up employees ( I keep an eye on him from afar) and I can sit back and think – I am free! 

Life goes on. If you are reading this in the grips of a toxic boss, I wish you luck. Follow these steps and you will return to a normal life. Stay strong!

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