Is Your Workplace all Tricks and No Treats?

Halloween is on Monday, but for many professionals the spookiness lasts year long. Bad bosses, and clueless colleagues can create a scary work environment that is filled with tricks and very few treats.

The movie takes a funny look at frightful bosses but  well known Leadership Consultant, Speaker and Trainer, Jeanne Male provides insight for those who hire Horrible Bosses. She writes:

It isn’t enough to hire leaders who pass muster with perfect credentials, competencies and due diligence. Why do they want to lead? What are their sources of motivation? Too many bad bosses use title, recognition and sucking up to medicate low self-esteem. How many are trying to feel better about themselves, live up to expectations and/or prove something to themselves and/or others? Leaders with unresolved ego issues are potentially toxic.  Read the full post here.

In 2009, Careerbuilder asked “Which  Halloween character is your boss most like?” in their Halloween Survey.  Twenty percent said their boss is  like Glenda the Good Witch, liked and respected by all while a mere  3 percent likened their boss to the Grim Reaper, constantly


Image by Miala via Flickr

delivering bad news and inspiring fear among workers. How about you, is your boss like Dracula sucking the life out of everyone in the office or Casper the Friendly Ghost, eager to help but misunderstood?

Do we live in a world of bad bosses? A 2007 Florida State University study showed that 39% of workers said their supervisor failed to keep promises and 27% said their supervisor made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.  In spite of an abundance of bad bosses, in real life, a new study reveals that only 11 percent of employees immediately quit their jobs., while 35 percent sucked it up but tried to deal with the issue. Read the study results along with great tips for managing your horrible boss here.

Sadly, many will have a bad boss at some point in their career. Bad bosses are bad for business. Toxic workplaces are less productive and can lead to health and self esteem issues for workers. Many workers cite the economy as a reason for tolerating torture in the workplace. Just as you would never tell a victim of domestic abuse to “suck it up” until the economy improves, you should never tolerate an abusive boss.  Out of control situations should be documented in writing. Do your homework so that you clearly understand your company’s policy and your legal rights.

Finding another job is not the only option for dealing with a bad boss.  Try managing your bad boss by calmly addressing the business issues. You may not be able to change your boss’ personality but you can improve your working conditions. Follow-up your discussions in writing.

The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to accept being a victim of a year long fright fest. It’s your life and career, and it’s up to you to manage it!

Do you have a bad boss story? How did you manage your situation?

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  • NinaMarman

    Hi, very useful post. I’ve just bumped into it and found it concrete and useful, very straight to the point. With your tips and some tricks I’ve heard during the webinars organized by I’m sure I’ll easily go through career change. Thanks once again!