How to spot (and deal with) the 7 types of toxic bosses

Toxic bosses don't just ruin careers. They can ruin lives. A recent study by Stanford University found that mismanagement leads to higher rates of employee stress, anxiety, and depression. And the effects can be devastating. The same study believes that over 100,000 annual cases of cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues are directly related to workplace toxicity.

And with over 65% of US workers saying that their boss is the leading cause of workplace stress, Resume.IO decided to create a complete guide on spotting the different types of toxic bosses. Most importantly, it outlines what you can do to take back control of your work life.

Here's a closer look at the seven different types of toxic bosses.

The incompetent boss

They might be unable or unwilling to do the job. They could have a family member in senior management or the knack for smooth-talking their way up the corporate ladder. Either way, working for an incompetent boss is an infuriating experience. So try to work around them instead. Take on more responsibility. Offer to lighten their workload, especially on large and complicated projects. This puts you in control, and your boss won't have a chance to make those annoying mistakes.

The rigid boss

Working for the rigid boss is like working for a robot from the 1970s. They've got the thinking power to follow the rules, and they're great when everything is going well. But they're terrible at dealing with unexpected problems, and the rigid boss can't compute more creative solutions or proposals. They tend to focus on preventing losses rather than making new gains. If you want to convince the rigid boss to try something new, speak to them in their own language. It consists of spreadsheets, charts, and data.

The bad-tempered boss

Thankfully, the bad-tempered boss is a rare species. Changes in workplace culture mean screaming and shouting are rarely tolerated. And the vast majority of managers know that it's a terrible (and often counterproductive) way to motivate staff. But if you do have a boss that snaps or shouts, never rise to the bait. Stay calm, be polite, and project an image of pure professionalism. It will diffuse the tension and shine a bright light on the other person's inappropriate behavior.

The callous boss

The callous boss lacks empathy and understanding. Nothing is ever their problem, and explanation is just another word for excuse. The insensitive boss is cold, unapproachable, and even a little bit intimidating. And they can often undermine your self-esteem, forcing you to ask uncomfortable questions, such as "am I being overly sensitive?" and "Is this issue really that important?" Book a one-to-one meeting with the callous boss. Outline your issues, explain how they affect your performance, and offer a solution. Tell them that you're not looking for sympathy. Instead, you want the support that will help you do the job to the best of your ability.

The corrupt boss

The corrupt boss lies, cheats, and steals to get results. They think the means always justify the ends, and ethics are for suckers. Most corrupt bosses get caught out quickly. But those who’ve mastered the dark arts can be impossible to overthrow, especially when they've corrupted those around them. Never take on a corrupt boss alone. Make sure your co-workers will back you up 100% and put together an airtight case before you visit HR.

The insular boss

These managers are cliquish, unapproachable, and resistant to change. They appear to listen but never actually hear anything. They smile, nod along, and tell you, 'that's a great idea!' But two weeks later everything is still the same. The insular boss lives in a bubble, and you need to find a way to pop it - if only for a few minutes. Try getting them out of the office. Arrange a work social, a charity event, or a team-building exercise. A new environment can break down barriers, encouraging the insular boss to open up to your ideas or concerns.

The evil boss

The evil boss gets off from making other people's lives hell. They're always looking for an excuse to fire people. And if they can't find one, they'll start to engineer one instead. They pick favorites and play the rest of their team off against each other. There's only one way to deal with an evil boss - take a stand! If not, their behavior will get worse and worse.

It's time to say goodbye to toxic bosses. This is easier than it sounds. After all, few people really enjoy or thrive off confrontation. But the alternative is much worse. A toxic boss limits our potential at work and adds to our stress at home. So think about what kind of toxic boss you're dealing with, formulate a plan, and make that change for the better.

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