I’ve got a typical toxic boss who makes tensions in our team by trying to set us off against each other, rarely gives any constructive feedback, and demeans you in front of other staff and customers.
I’ve heard him blame others for mistakes that are down to him and he’s probably saying the same about me to others.
Any tips on how to handle this? Please don’t just say find a new job – it’s one bad manager, the rest are really good and I feel like I’m beginning to get noticed and a promotion could be on the horizon.
I worked for some absolute stunners in my time, so I can appreciate what you may be going through.
First point I would make is to record all instances that you witness or experience. Contemporaneous notes are THE absolute in these cases. Without them, anything comes down to ‘hearsay’ or ‘he-said-she-said’ scenarios.
Two. Approach your Equality and Diversity lead and outline the issues that you are experiencing. If in doubt, utilise either your own legal team or Union representative etc, as these will be able to focus the complaint.
Three. In dealings with said individual, always try to have a witness. If this is not possible, then summarise in email what was discussed professionally and send to the individual, again keeping copy and annotating in your contemporaneous notes the other elements of discussion. This will aid in date/time stamping your complaints.
Otherwise, personally I would try to maintain my own composure, keep my head down and get on with my day job. You could very easily regress into a situation of passive-aggression; ie working to rule and complying with the detail, if not the spirit, of any instruction. Either way, it will become ever more apparent to management chains that said individual is toxic. When you and your colleagues are able to demonstrate or show the evidence of your labours, it will make their position untenable.
Most recruiters, these days, use ATS software and often this software finds it very difficult to read “creative CVs”. Ideally CVs should be submitted in plain format so that they can be easily parsed by recruiting software.
I have seen CVs that come through as completely blank or with key text blocked out because of the sender using a creative format.
You should remember that CVs are searched for using key words and it is important that yours comes up in searches. You can always get creative at the next stage of the recruitment process.
In summary, keep it simple – the purpose of your CV is not to get the job, it’s to get the interview.
If you can document how they are making mistakes and blaming things on you, whether it’s keeping emails or texts, or asking for things to be clarified so you can always go back and show them how these mistakes occurred might help.
Although bosses who seem to provoke and thrive on tension tend not to deal well with you showing them evidence. Perhaps it’s something to mention to HR, especially if it’s unusual in your company.
Having a quiet word about some of the more terrible practices – demeaning you in front of customers, for instance – might work. It presents a bad impression of the company and makes customers uneasy. If you can frame it in language that makes it seem like the company suffers, that might get a response.
That said, if you are close to a promotion then keeping your head down and trying to get on with things as diligently and competently as possible is the best way.