4 Signs That Your Boss is Toxic

17 Dec 2020 | 5 min read

Is frustration the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your boss? Gallup reports that 70% of employee motivation is based on one factor: the boss. A toxic boss can cause motivation to drop, productivity to sink and morale to suffer. Here are four management fails that also show the characteristics of a toxic boss:

Loves to take credit for your work.

Have you ever had a boss take your work and own it - leaving you wondering if recognition is still a thing? If you’re being overlooked, or you feel your effort is being ignored, then you probably have a toxic boss. The poison part is that ownership isn’t given, it’s taken away from you. This situation makes you feel as if your effort is invisible. It is a management philosophy based on a faulty assumption of what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.

Will never admit their mistakes.

The fault-finder boss is often the first to point out a mistake but the last to own one. The toxic boss offers control instead of collaboration. Leaders see the way things are despite the flaws and shortcomings we have but still manage to inspire us to be better. Mistakes happen; how you and your boss address those mistakes is the key to a positive partnership.

Feedback fumble.

You’ll notice that when it’s time for your review, or even just some constructive feedback, the toxic boss will botch the conversation. Basically, there is no empathy: the ability to see your challenges is elusive for a toxic boss. It is healthier to admit that challenges exist. Without this empathetic acknowledgement, you can feel “less than” and incapable when you’re talking with a toxic boss. Don’t stop with just identifying a problem: share your game plan for overcoming the challenge - or ask for help so that you can. Find new options and new solutions. Don’t stop searching for new solutions - it’s your job to pick up the fumble!


The toxic boss buys into the misunderstanding that we cannot control outcomes if we don’t control the process. Micromanagers want to control the outcomes, not the people involved. They would want to control people, processes, agendas but outcomes are never the focus – simply because a concentration on outcomes is called “leadership”, not micromanagement. And that is exactly what you should be having.

4 Signs That Your Boss is Toxic
categories: News,Workplace,Mindset