3 Signs You May Have Become a “Toxic” Manager

If you ask a manager to describe themselves, the odds that they’ll label themselves “toxic” are pretty slim. However, it can be hard to see yourself accurately. Even if you believe that you’re making sound leadership choices, your employees may view your actions differently. Ultimately, whether you are toxic depends more on their perspective than anything else.

But that doesn’t mean managers can’t figure out if they may have crossed into toxic territory. Certain traits or habits are often classic examples, and they can be used to help you figure out where you stand. If you are worried, you may have become a toxic manager, or want to know what to look out for so you can avoid it, here are three signs that you may be heading down that road.

1. Micromanaging

If you ask an employee to describe their worst nightmare for a manager, there’s a decent chance micromanaging will come up. While workers understand that their boss needs insight into their activities, an overbearing boss can be hard to stomach. Plus, it creates a sense of distrust, as it seems like their boss doesn’t believe they are capable of handling their jobs.

Generally speaking, the hallmark of micromanaging is feeling a need to have a say in or control over everything that happens in your team. Employees can never take full ownership of their tasks, as you believe that your involvement in every activity is necessary. Without it, you’re sure that your team will fail.

Overcoming a tendency to micromanage can be challenging. You have to relinquish a degree of control. While that isn’t easy, it’s a critical step. Not only does it help you show that you trust in your team’s abilities, but it also gives them a chance to flourish. They’ll become more capable along the way, all while freeing you up to focus on tasks that genuinely need your attention.

2. Unrealistic Expectations

While setting the bar high isn’t inherently a bad thing – as health challenges can boost engagement and productivity – it is possible to go too far. If you’re asking your employees to achieve the impossible, you aren’t motivating them. Instead, it can quickly become demoralizing.

It’s perfectly fine to ask your employees to stretch a bit. Just make sure that any goal you set is attainable. Otherwise, all you’re doing is setting them up for failure.

3. Lack of Professionalism

Yelling at an employee, name-calling, or disparaging members of your team are all marks of a lack of professionalism. Similarly, being rude in general, such as by cutting your employees off mid-sentence or rolling your eyes at their ideas, are signs that you may be a toxic manager.

All bosses need to maintain the highest level of professionalism. Usually, this means ensuring your emotions don’t influence your actions, and that you always factor in the consequences of approaching a situation in a particular way.

Ultimately, all three of the signs above could indicate that you’ve become a toxic manager. If you’d like to learn about how you can improve your leadership capabilities and overcome the issues above, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.






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