Its Finally OK to be the Boss

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If you can help solve the problem, do so. You may not have a ready-made solution at the time, so consider taking a break in the conversation, reflecting on what happened and how you make it better, and then come back to it with fresh eyes, Weiss advises.

Toxic Bosses: How to Neutralize a Toxic Boss |

Re-align with your boss. Make a point of getting on the same page with your boss. It might not be you. But be careful to listen, rather than complain about her anger. Your goal is to open the doors to candid conversation.

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Either way, your boss will respect your having the courage to talk with her about how to make things better. Fortunately for both of us, I ended up repairing my relationship with the reporter, enough to convince her to join the next magazine I went to. And eventually, we were able to laugh about the incident.

Like me, your boss may be embarrassed by the way she handled the situation. So the boss goes on thinking everything is fine while the employee is stewing and feeling overwhelmed. Some bosses are genuinely busy, but others are just … lazy. Think about your options. Ah, yes, the question you should never ask a co-worker. Maybe my husband is. Maybe we tried for years before giving up. But when your boss is asking the question … what can you do?

It's OKAY to be the Boss - Employee Training Video by Media Partners

You can even do it cheerfully. So do a reality-check first: Maybe your boss did get you sick, or maybe you picked up a bug on the subway. But there are plenty of things you can do to make your life less miserable. Here are ways to guard against the risks of becoming someone you never intended to be.

How saying “yes” kills your productivity

Hold fast to your values. Sometimes you can raise concerns with a boss who failed to realize the consequences of their actions. Their genuine remorse and commitment to make things right can restore trust, and even make your relationship stronger. Research indicates that if your boss behaves badly, you are more likely to follow suit. Pay attention to patterns of betrayal. Similar to what can happen to victims of domestic violence, a form of organizational Stockholm syndrome sets in, and you eventually come to expect betrayal as normal.

Neutralize Your Toxic Boss

If your manager fails to keep promises, keep their commitments to you well-documented. If they take credit for your work, make sure important stakeholders associate your name with relevant projects. Remember: Not everyone will betray you. Pay attention to your behaviors. Are you continuously questioning the motives and actions of others on whom you rely? Are you excessively scrutinizing the decisions of people close to you?

One executive I coached, who felt her boss intentionally misrepresented her to the board of directors, realized she was second-guessing the motives of her team, her husband, and even her son. Betrayal is a powerful force that can spread to other parts of your life. Remind yourself that not everyone you trust will betray you as your boss did.

Practice forgiveness, not retaliation. You may even fantasize about sabotaging their success.