We all know that there are different ways to describe a leader. There are times that these people are worthy of their position when it comes to handling others. However, there are those whose behaviors are way too problematic. That is why we often refer to a particular situation, people, and the working environment as toxic. There is destructive, derailed, and aversive leadership. With the existence of this toxicity in the workplace, there is a tendency that we might suffer from mental breakdown due to pressure and anxiety. So with that, we need to understand how leaders showcase the dark side of leadership. Let’s hear it from a therapist’s point of view.
Dr. Marcia Lynn Whicker says, “The repertoire of toxic leaders covers a broad spectrum; it depends more not only on what they really are but also on how people perceive them.”
The repeated and systematic behavior of leaders, managers, or supervisors that violates the legitimate interest of the people and its organization is unhealthy. That is because toxic leadership is capable of undermining and sabotaging the organizations, goals, resources, and tasks. It destroys motivation, effectiveness, well-being, job satisfaction of the people involved in a more excellent production. Toxic leadership often results in consequences such as uncooperative subordinates, unresolved work-related issues, unprofessional working environment, and unhealthy contributions not only to the organization but to its surrounding people as well.
The most significant misconception about leadership is its power and entitlement. Not all leaders see it as a privilege. They often envision it as something that puts them on a pedestal. It becomes a price that must soon pay off. And when it gets to the wrong individuals, it ruins the idea of serving the majority of employee’s interests. It begins to state a position where responsibilities get disregard. “Toxic leaders frequently take all the credit for their team’s success and their employees’ good work,” says Andrew Schmidt, Ph.D. “They blame employees for mistakes and deflect responsibility for errors.”
Leaders are responsible for taking care of significant decisions in the company or organization. They are the ones that cater and push for solutions in addressing current problems concerning the people’s duty and responsibility. That also includes the overall relationship of people to the workplace. However, part of the job is for leaders to master self-deception. It talks more about the destruction of the view of reality. It becomes present when leaders are unwilling to look and consider themselves as the problem.
“Self-deception at the most basic level is an inability to be honest with yourself. Self-deception is either believing things that are not true, and trying to fool yourself into believing things that are not true.” – Dr. Cortney Warren, clinical psychologist.
- Not believing something that is true
Leaders in the self-deceptive state worry more about themselves rather than bring front an interest in others. They are often stuck with personal issues as a whole.
One primary source of toxic leadership is the idea of achieving an unrealistic goal. Usually, these types of leaders struggle to get employees to work productively. They quickly get frustrated when things don’t go their way. In most circumstances, these individuals’ waste time, energy, and techniques, because they believe that employees are to blame in the organization’s incapability to deliver quality results. That even if talented employees leave the company, it’s the employees’ fault. These leaders look at employees as lazy, incapable, and unreliable people.
Leaders with self-deception issue think they are hard working individuals and that they are great and all. They believe they are fair and working fine with others. They have this self-entitlement of doing what they want. That’s the reason why they don’t think that the company and the people’s productivity has something to do with how they handle them. They are not aware that the employees’ problems are stemming from their toxic leadership style.
The Unhealthy Attitude
Leaders are often demanding. Perhaps that’s because they believe they know everything. Most of them think that their position is the representation of status and intellectual hierarchy. Honestly, most leaders don’t consider following their instructions. They have this mentality that employees should be at the bottom because they don’t have as much experience as they do. That even though employees work hard and diligently, they won’t make it because they don’t share the same work ethics to become successful just like them. They don’t realize that individuals respond to attitude and not through constant demands.
Most leaders who are in the unbreakable position are the ones who don’t know when to put themselves accountable for something. These individuals often feel the need for justification. Yes, some of them sometimes apologize for rude and unnecessary behavior. But not all of them are capable of changing their ways toward their employees.
Leadership comes with significant responsibilities in helping, motivating, and caring for people’s physical, emotional, and mental health. It is not something that ruins other persons’ overall wellness.