Bully bosses are toxic! Their abusive speech and other bad behavior spreads like a virus, infecting the whole office.
Bully bosses communicate by losing their temper, yelling, and belittling their subordinates. Often a bully boss will single out one employee to take out their negativity or aggression. If you’ve ever had to experience the abuse of a bully boss, you know how draining it can be.
However, the whole team will suffer at the hands of a bully boss, according to a new study by a team of researchers at Michigan State University. The study showed that the entire team suffers when a bully boss picks on just one employee.
How does the team suffer? Their productivity decreases as a direct result of verbal abuse and/or demeaning E-mails from the bully boss. Not only does a targeted employee suffer, but the whole team falls into conflicts which results in a loss of productivity.
“Teams characterized by relationship conflict,” lead investigator Crystal Farh said in a press release, “are hostile toward other members, mistreat them, speak to them rudely and experience negative emotions toward them.”
The whole group’s attitudes and behaviors start to reflect those of the bully boss as they act in a similar and hostile manner toward one another. The sobering truth is that everyone suffers at the hand of a bully boss.
When this happens, the company loses big time because now the whole team requires interpersonal relationships to be repaired. Trust among group members will have to be rebuilt as well.
- Entis, Laura. (2014) Bosses Who Pick on One Employee Ruin Everyone’s Productivity, Study Shows. Retrieved on September24, 2014 from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237110.
- Farh, Crystal & Andy Henion. (2014). Abusive Leadership Infects Entire Team. Retrieved on September 24, 2014 from http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/abusive-leadership-infects-entire-team/.
- Farh, Crystal & Chen Z. (2014). Beyond the Individual Victim: Multilevel Consequences of Abusive Supervision in Teams. Retrieved on September 24, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25111251.
Disclaimer: Working for a bully boss is distressing. Do you have a real life experience working for a bully boss? Please tell us about it in the comments below.