How do you handle a toxic boss?
One tactic that many of them use is to keep you reacting, mainly to their requests. When you are reacting, you are not in control, and it is a great way to lose your focus which is paramount to your excellent performance.
One of the primary complaints I get from clients about toxic bosses is that they fill their day with unexpected and sometimes unnecessary correspondences and requests.
Understanding how your brain processes incoming tasks is important. That toxic boss is taking advantage of your bottom-up attention span, and that tends to derail any focus you may have had previously thanks to your top-down attention.
Here’s what you need to do:
✅ Observe and take note. Your toxic boss has patterns. Many times the requests they ping you with are not new.
✅ Anticipate those common requests and tasks and get in front of them.
✅ Be proactive in sharing that deliverable and add a request of your own—that they review, respond, etc.
You’re doing several things— you are
❌ breaking their rhythm,
❌ removing the element of surprise,
❌ reclaiming your time
✅ and you now have them responding to you.
How else can you set boundaries with your bad boss? You can find more positive psychology and neuroscience-based tips in my new journal SLAY EVERYDAY: 52 Weeks to Rockstar Leadership. And you can take a little time to strategize within the pages, get it here.