CEO shares a ‘secret trick’ for deciding to quit your toxic job: ‘It can make it much, much clearer’
Toxic bosses are far too common: They’re the reason 57% of employees have quit a job, according to one report.
But sometimes, you need the paycheck. Robyn L. Garrett, an author and CEO of leadership coaching firm Beamably, has a “secret trick” for figuring out whether it’s time to abandon ship.
You should probably consider leaving your job if you are completely opposed to your boss’s approach on a moral level. If the problem isn’t quite as severe, like a communication issue, you might be able to find a way to deal with your frustrating manager, Garrett said.
Her first step: identifying the “variety of factors” that define your relationship with your boss, and using that information to form a plan of action.
“What are their needs? What are their motivations? What are your needs? What are your motivations? How do those things clash? But how can they also work together? And are there ways that the two of you can compromise,” said Garrett.
If your boss is flexible and rooting for your success — their toxicity emerges in other ways — they’ll be willing to come to an agreement, Garrett said. If they’re stuck in their ways, you’ll have to resort to changing your communication style to match theirs.
If you approach them about your feelings, for example, they might not be receptive. If you come equipped with research and data that supports your argument, you might be more successful.
“A lot of bosses are financially motivated. They’re all about their KPIs and their metrics,” Garrett said.
Garrett speaks from experience. Once, while working in an international position, her boss would conduct “2 a.m. conference calls that would go on for two and a half hours,” then pile on assignments for her to complete afterward, she said.
“I tried to communicate with this person, but they were very aggressive and they took advantage of me because I was young and I didn’t know better,” she added.
Indeed, direct confrontation may not be your best bet: 69% of workplace leaders already say they’re uncomfortable communicating with their employees, according to a 2016 survey from Harris Poll and communications firm Interact.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to keep track of your physical and emotional wellbeing: Toxic workplaces can contribute to anxiety, mental fatigue and stress, experts say.
“It’s important to protect yourself at all times,” Garrett said. “Make sure you’re taking care of you because they’re not always going to, unfortunately.”