Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crazy Bosses - Passive Aggression in the Workplace

Over the past ten years, I have had some really lousy bosses.  I have pondered for two days why that may be so and I keep coming back to one main thing that has made my worklife suck for the past ten years –passive aggressiveness.

I remember when I first started my career in management. It was acceptable to get into disagreements with bosses and co-workers – argue, voice your opinion - even loudly and no one walked out of the meeting worse for wear.  By the end of the meeting, most everything was out in the open – people had expressed their views and we could go on with life and work.  When I worked on the East Coast – this was also true.  Unfortunately in the Midwest, we have an epidemic of “passive aggressiveness”.

A passive aggressive person will go into a meeting, agree to almost everything that happens in the meeting and then spend the rest of the day or week, building a “band of lieutenants” to dismantle what happened in the meeting, while they backstab and gossip about the other people in the meeting.

Having a passive aggressiveness boss sucks and it is becoming a prevalent management style. Passive aggressive (PA) management needs to be added to all the 21st century theories on management, as it is becoming a major style of management.  The internet is at the forefront of the writing on PA bosses, as it has thousands of articles about passive aggressive bosses. 

What are signs you are working for a passive aggressive boss?  
ý     You send emails to your boss – and they get ignored or my favorite, “lost”
ý     You send a new marketing idea to your boss – and the idea gets ignored or becomes their idea. 
ý     You get an invite for meeting - 3:00pm on the Friday before a long holiday weekend. 
ý     You get called into a 45 minute meeting 5 minutes before you’re suppose to leave.
ý     Your boss is always late for meetings.
ý     When you call in sick - expect multiple calls at home during the day about "things that can't wait until tomorrow".
ý     Your boss does an end-run around a project you are working on – even though you thought you had their full support and agreement on the project. 
ý     Your boss divides the department into – haves and have nots, or favorites .
ý     Your boss is verbally abusive when no one else is around (to you and about others).
ý     Every day you say to yourself “I can’t believe they did that.” – but, you know they did do that.
ý     Every day you walk in the building and ask yourself, “Is today going to be a good day or a bad day?  and you cringe.
ý     No one works as hard as your boss does, or puts in as many hours as they do – and yet……they leave the office almost every day at 5. 
ý     You go home at the end of the day, most days, and wonder if you still have your job.  If your boss wasn’t passive aggressive – you would know where you stand most of the time.
ý     One huge indicator of a passive aggressive boss is micro-management.  My current boss is into NANO-management..

Why is it important to talk about passive aggressive bosses?  Because a passive aggressive boss is a danger to you!

In the workplace the passive aggressive boss will rob you of your self confidence.  They will make you doubt and question yourself – constantly.  They will make you worry about “when is the bottom going to drop out” – again.  They make you question your own abilities to the point where you question your own sanity.  With a passive aggressive boss – you have the issue, not them.  They will steal your self-esteem.  They deflate the morale of the entire department or company.  They make people cry.

Passive aggressive bosses will rob you of your mental health – which can lead to long-term physical health issues.  The stress they create can lead to depression, ulcers, heartburn, anxiety attacks, migraines, nausea, muscle pain, high blood pressure, and other stress related physical health issues.

What can you do about your passive aggressive boss? Nothing – they are insane, deranged, demented, mentally unhinged, mad as a March hare, off their rocker, nutty as a fruitcake and of unsound mind.  You can’t fix them.

What can you do for yourself?  Take care of yourself.  Protect yourself.  You need to find a different place to work where you are respected.  You need to find a new job where your contributions are showcased.  You need to make every day – about you – about keeping yourself healthy and moving forward, until you can leave.  Make your current job the best it can be by learning more and taking on more, so you will be ready to leave when the time comes.  And most important – don’t become your boss!

Not sour grapes, ‘cause I really don't care - it's just my thought for the day

No comments:

Post a Comment