by Nora Battelle, Multimedia Staff Writer at Thrive Global
76 percent of Americans — a clear majority — said they have or recently had a toxic boss, according to new research conducted by Monster and released today.
A positive work environment is crucial to performing good work — and to managing your own stress — and leadership often plays a vital part in setting that positive tone.
Toxicity, in the survey, took several different forms, and the numbers on all of them were high: 26 percent of bosses, according to Monster’s survey, are “power-hungry,” 18 percent are “micromanagers,” 17 percent are “incompetent” and 15 percent are simply absent (“What boss? He/she is never around,” as the survey phrased it).
These numbers are a stark contrast to the 19 percent of employees who see their boss as a mentor and the 5 percent who indicated that their boss is someone with whom they have “the best relationship.”
Alan Benson, Ph.D., a professor of Work and Organizations at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, explains the significance of these numbers to Thrive Global: “Facing a bad boss can be one of the greatest challenges we can have when managing our careers.” He suggests that there are three courses to take when faced with a bad manager who stresses you out: “Exit the team, voice your concerns to the boss or to HR or just suffer through it.” The choice you make, according to Benson, should “depend on your exact circumstances,” but his advice gives some helpful questions to consider as you decide on your approach.
When to go to HR
“Toxic,” in the survey and otherwise, is used as an umbrella term for a lot of different types of behavior.
by Suzie Doscher, Executive and Life Coach, Zurich, Switzerland
In the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a “control freak” is “a person who feels an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves and others and to take command of any situation.” The Merriam Webster dictionary says that a control freak is “a person whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters.” One way or another, control freaks are not always easy to be around.
I understand this personality trait could stem from a chaotic childhood. Such experiences can make it hard for people to trust others or relinquish control to others. The fear of falling apart pushes them to control what they can. As their emotions are all over the place, they feel loss of control. For this reason, control freaks will micromanage whatever they can with the belief that this makes them strong. People who feel out of control tend to become controllers.
I imagine each and every one of us is a control freak, or takes on the behavior of such, at some point or another. The fear of failure is what makes it so important to control everything when you do not trust anybody else to do a good job.
One difficult aspect of being around a control freak is accepting that he or she does not understand how their behavior and choice of words affect the people around them. Another difficult aspect is not to take it personally. This behavior comes from deep inside and the person is actually quite unaware of the need to be controlling.
The attempts to control a situation or environment are intended to offer the controller a feeling of safety. This is a sign of low self-esteem.
One of the areas they often manipulate is conversation. A control freak is most comfortable if he or she decides what is talked about, for how long, and how deep or detailed a topic can be. This manipulation is achieved by constant interruption, finishing the sentence for the person, not listening with attention, doing distracting things like getting up and walking around, or even walking out of the room saying, “I am still listening.” A control freak does not consider that he or she is being controlling, but is convinced his or her way is the right way. He or she will have an opinion about almost everything and will disagree with most suggestions that he or she does not instigate.
Controllers also control themselves; you might observe obsessive habits in them – whether in a private relationship or at work.
Here are helpful tips to consider when dealing with a micro-manager:
A control freak has the ability to bring you down a couple of notches and take the wind out of your sails. They can make people feel insecure. You may want to distance yourself if it is possible. If not,because the person is a member of your family or work colleague or boss, then consider what choices you do have based on the points raised above.
Raising your awareness to the fact that the person is micro-managing frequently already helps to make the situation easier to handle.
The benefits of establishing a manner of communication where you do not allow the control freak to rob you of your energy or drown you with negativity is that you become stronger, more assertive, and empowered.
In summary, here are helpful steps for handling the moment:
Being in the company of control freaks can feel like being with Energy Vampires.
Their ability to endlessly bring the attention backonto themselves is draining and exhausting. Knowing what to expect can help you choose how to interact and take care of yourself at the same time.
by Maura Thomas
Around 11 p.m. one night, you realize there’s a key step your team needs to take on a current project. So, you dash off an email to the team members while you’re thinking about it.
No time like the present, right?
Wrong. As a productivity trainer specializing in attention management, I’ve seen over the past decade how after-hours emails speed up corporate cultures — and that, in turn, chips away at creativity, innovation, and true productivity.
If this is a common behavior for you, you’re missing the opportunity to get some distance from work — distance that’s critical to the fresh perspective you need as the leader. And, when the boss is working, the team feels like they should be working.
Think about the message you’d like to send. Do you intend for your staff to reply to you immediately?
by Key Step Media Time to read: 4 min.
Whether you are a team leader or a member of a team, you will likely encounter situations in which you need to offer criticism or constructive feedback. While this can be difficult, giving feedback is a necessary part of leadership and being a member of a team. Teams that openly address counterproductive behavior create an environment that fosters continuous development, learning, and innovation. The ability to give effective, emotionally intelligent criticism is essential to high levels of team performance.
What Does It Mean to Offer Effective Criticism?
People who give effective criticism balance empathy and an understanding of the person they are giving feedback to with an objective and calm demeanor.
by Maktuno Suit - Leadership Consultant & Psychotherapist
Christine dreads going into work everyday to face her manager, Paula. She feels as though Paula is ready to criticise her for any mistake that she makes and hence tries to avoid her due to the anxiety that she feels in her presence. Christine spends excessive amounts of time trying to make her work ‘perfect’ before presenting it to Paula - fearful of the critique she will receive. Christine feels like she is constantly undermined and that Paula is threatened when she performs well. Christine describes her as a ‘bad boss’ who makes her feel unsafe and she is looking for a new job.
Recently, the notion of creating psychologically safe cultures and teams in the workplace has become central to our understanding of an effective organisational environment.
By Betty Liu - Host and editor-at-large, Bloomberg Markets
I get asked this question quite a lot.
Everyone wants to know what the secret sauce is to succeed in the corporate world.
And I hate to disappoint but the answer is simpler than you might think.
And no, the trick isn't being smarter than everyone else.
It boils down to one thing: how you interact with people.
True we can all rattle off examples of jerks who have succeeded, but in my experience, those who succeeded most in the corporate world have elevated EQ skills. Surprising?
BY XIMENA VENGOECHEA 5 MINUTE READ
It happens to high- and low-performing teams alike: The ties that bind everyone together just aren’t as strong as they could be. Maybe you’ve inherited a team that’s always been sluggish and uninspired, or one that’s usually steady, but the trust is eroding under pressure. Or perhaps you’re just trying to take your team to the next level. Whatever the case, every team needs to reflect once in a while on what could be improved. It’s human nature to be conflict-averse, but it’s every manager’s job to bring points of conflict out into the open and move forward together.
Unfortunately, most meetings aren’t the best venues for doing that. Typical team meetings focus on planning what’s ahead–an upcoming project, the next quarter’s top goals and metrics, expectations moving forward. But there’s a simple alternative, focused on reviewing the immediate past, that can change how your team works for the better.
Nigel Casey BSc (Hons) Digital Technology, Design & Innovation: Learning & Development at DigitalProfessionalsAcademy.com
Whether you work in the realm of digital development or not, your teams are without a shadow of a doubt, already digital. Whether you work in an organisation or as a freelance professional, you work in and with digital teams. The digital age is upon us and you are in it and a part of it whether you realise it or not.
1. Silos in Digital Teams
Encouraging, enabling or tolerating silo mentality is not good managerial practice by any stretch of the imagination. It describes a situation in which co-workers tend to operate independently to such an extent that information does not flow fluidly across teams or departments. I believe that most of the time employees do not choose to work in Silos, nor do they do it with the intention of gaining the upper hand, deliberately withholding information or sabotaging co-workers’ progress. They simply have their own, often fine-tuned systems for getting stuff done, having found a way to operate that works for them individually, without considering, or even being expected to consider the implications and how their modus operandi affects overall productivity.
Clearly, the end result can be described as the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or even attempting to do. Lots of hands, all waggling around independently from one another, all doing their best. ...Click 'Read More' below