September 24, 2014 Melinda Longoria, MSM
New Study Results: Everybody Suffers Under a Bully Boss
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.
Bully Boss Hostile Work Environment, Office Policies, Team Dynamics May 21, 2014 Melinda Longoria, MSM
Creating dysfunctional teams is the favorite pastime of the bad boss. The bad boss enjoys making a big mess out of the team. The big mess is actually the bad boss’ way of handling the team correctly.
The technique involves two stages. First, the bad boss envisions himself or herself as a hero conqueror to save the primitive subordinates from themselves. Second, he or she then goes about the conquest.
Stage 1 – The first stage is important. The bad boss thinks of himself or herself as a hero conqueror out to rule a place where there are lots of fierce but primitive and unsophisticated warriors that are just dying to be led by some great power. Hence, the bad boss must exude an air of a noble heroic conqueror out to save the day. To do this, the bad boss must find a suitable henchman. The bad boss must have someone who will be loyal to the bad boss no matter what. After identifying the henchman all the rests are enemies that need to be either annihilated or conquered.
Stage 2 – The second stage is all about how the bad boss goes about the conquest of his or her team. The techniques are tried and tested. It’s guaranteed to be effective and potent. The conquering part is done using the simplest but challenging strategy called “divide and conquer.” The team members should never see eye to eye. The bad boss should prevent mutual understanding among members. This is done with the following in mind.
Keep enmity among the team members. This will make them busy looking for each other’s faults and mistakes. This is the bad boss’ way of keeping tabs on each member. It’s the bad boss’ brilliant way of delegating his or her overseeing functions without the members knowing it. The bad boss will take different sides and encourage one to engage on skirmishes with one another promising support and withholding it for whatever justifications when it would create more enmity. The bad boss will allow his or her members to compete for alliance with him or her at all and any cost but never with each other.
Cause confusion. The bad boss should keep communication lines unclear, illogical and of no use. There should be no clear communications among the team members. Should there be any showing that one is being attempted to be established, quickly destroy it. Everyone should be left in the dark and only the bad boss knows what to do, supposedly anyways. The bad boss makes sure that his or her acts follow unclear paths so that no one knows what to do.
Policies and rules are formalities but never to be followed. The bad boss likes creating rules and policies for each and every thing that happens. However, the bad boss always comes up with an exception and is always wise to know how it is to be applied or if not to be applied. There are rules which can’t be relied on because the interpretation lies with the bad boss. The unwritten rule about this is that the rules are enforceable if the bad boss will be served by it, otherwise tough luck.
Grapevine communication lines network. The bad boss gives weight to all communications that comes out of this manner of communication. In fact this is the real deal as far as the bad boss is concerned. He or she invests heavily on this communication network and it serves as basis for his or her decisions or actions. This is actually the official communication lines as far as the bad boss is concerned and is a well guarded secret from all the team members.
Establish an espionage work. The bad boss learns about spying skills in James Bond movies or that of Mission Impossible movies. The bad boss never really trusts anyone but him or herself. Doing everything above board like checking man hours, evaluating productivity reports, job monitoring, performance evaluations are such a bore and time consuming activity for a bad boss. The bad boss is way above all those things and plays with the big league. The big time bad boss does spying activities. The big boss thinks that there is always a secret out there that he or she must uncover.
The underlying concept here is simple. The bad boss has no other person to rely on but himself or herself to manage a team. In order to maintain power over the team members, the bad boss must keep the team from uniting. This will make the team manageable as far as the bad boss is concerned. Always remember, the bad boss should always be in control!
Example of a good team. 😉
Bad BossDysfunctional TeamsTeam Dynamics