Before You Quit: Tips for Surviving a Toxic Boss

In today’s tough job market, quitting your job isn’t necessarily the best way to deal with a toxic boss. Before you walk away, try these tips to transform your bad boss into the office superstar.

Unfortunately, bad bosses cause a high percentage of job searches. Far too many supervisors lack the skills and personality to effectively manage their employees. Rather than inspiring their workers, they engage in negative and even abusive workplace behaviors.

As a dedicated employee, you shouldn’t have to put up with abuse from a toxic boss. But you don’t necessarily need to quit your job, either. If possible, it’s better to try to reform your boss rather than it is to take your chances in the job marketplace.

According to Dr. Aubrey Daniels, author of OOPS! 13 Management Practices That Waste Time & Money and Bringing out the Best in People, by understanding the science of human behavior and the power of positive reinforcement, employees can take meaningful steps to turn a bad boss into a good one.

  1. Leverage the Power of Positive Reinforcement

    Most employees feel like they receive too little recognition for their efforts in the workplace. Bosses get even less. So by exercising a little positive reinforcement with your supervisor, you may start to make headway in your relationship.

  2. Reinforce Small Steps Toward Change

    Don’t expect to see big changes in your boss overnight. But it’s important to acknowledge small changes in the right direction. For example, tell your boss that you appreciated the way he handled something at work or a decision she made that was pleasantly out of character.

  3. A “Thank You” Goes a Long Way

    Employees expect to be thanked for their contribution in the workplace. But few rarely consider thanking their supervisors. Thank your boss for something that was helpful to you or the company as a way to let him know he’s doing something that people actually like.

  4. Keep the Boss in the Loop

    Do you know what bosses hate more than anything else? Surprises – especially bad ones. Keep your boss in the loop about what is happening in the workplace and give her a reason to celebrate the things that are working.

  5. Invest Yourself in Your Boss’s Success

    If you want your boss to help you be successful, you will first need to help him be successful. By encouraging others to support the boss’s initiatives, you can contribute to her success and drive positive behavioral change.

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