Sunday, 25th August 2019
IN MY OPINION Article
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This Month's Magazine
Noxious Bosses

Noxious Bosses

‘Paranoid boss’, ‘Psychopath boss’ or the ‘Narcissist’?

Bad bosses can damage your health; the cross of poor management is not only borne by employees, the economy suffers too.

How long someone stays in a job and how well they perform is correlated with how well they get along with their boss. More than a third of Spanish bosses, according to a recent study, fail to take that into account. One of them, the manager of O. M., a 29-year-old accountant says she has “had it” with her boss. Having worked for two years in an advertising agency in the Catalan capital and having doubled the number of clients the employer failed to hire anyone else often leaving her to work long into the night at the expense of her family life, the boss simply ignores her when she asks to work shorter hours or more pay, he tells her not to bother him with what he calls ‘personal’ problems. So she is looking for similar work elsewhere.

This case is no exception. It seems the rule in Spain that as intensified business competitiveness puts pressures on employers and managers, many of whom are unqualified, they are unable or unwilling to manage the stress.

According to a study by Iñaki Piñuel, a psychologist at Alcalá de Henares University and a partner in the Mobbing Research consultancy, seven out of 10 bosses in Spain care little about what their employees think of them or the climate in the workplace.

The stress bad bosses cause on staff includes a 16-percent higher risk of cardiac problems and a 33-percent increased chance of having a heart attack, medical studies show. In Piñuel’s view there are three kinds of “toxic bosses.” Firstly, he says, there is the
paranoid boss “whose insecurity and lack of confidence causes them to systematically question the work and behaviour of colleagues, creating a negative atmosphere.”

The second, Piñuel calls a “psychopath boss” whose “pride and cold-heartedness cause them to become a compulsive liar,
capable of acting despotically.”

The third is the narcissist, whose vanity causes them to try to be the centre of attention and who believes that they are responsible for every achievement of the team, which consists usually of docile and obedient subordinates.”


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A word of advice

A bad boss tests the dedication of even the most devoted employee however expressing anger and ridicule is
completely unacceptable :

  1. Maintain your composure and be respectful. No matter how undesirable, rude or incompetent your boss is, or how frustrating the situation, it is extremely important that you maintain a professional persona while confronting the problem. DonÂ’t overdo it, briefly summarize the problem and request further correspondence.
  2. Keep your message brief and to the point. There is no need to go into explicit detail of each and every uncomfortable encounter with a bad boss. A general summary of certain undesirable behavioural characteristics, unfair workplace practices, incidents of verbal abuse or any other complaint is all that is required to write a memo on a bad boss. Typically, issues in the workplace require some sort of meeting or evaluation to be resolved and at that time employees are invited to elaborate on their concerns. This memo is intended to bring a potential situation to the attention of higher management for later resolution. Avoid distribution to uninvolved parties.
  3. Distribute the memo only to appropriate parties. Memos regarding employee concerns about a bad boss should be distributed only to the parties affected, involved or in a position to rectify the situation. If you have composed the memo with the help of your colleagues, distribute a copy to each participating coworker. Your memo should also be sent to the boss in question, his supervisor and any applicable owners or heads of your corporation. For instance, if you work for the office of a distributing company, donÂ’t distribute a memo among the warehouse workers.



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