Do you work in a hostile work environment? A few ways to know you are is by vetting your own feelings, and asking yourself the following questions:

* Do you dread going into the office?

* Do you feel ignored, belittled, or cut down?

* Do you feel the target of others frustration or insecurities?

* Do other people in the office feel the same way?

* Have you approached HR or Management about it via email yet?

Toxic bosses feed off of attention (all eyes on them) & emotional reactions (through contact with others). They typically have an elevated sense of self and thrive on having power over others in the workplace.

There are toxic bosses in every corporation in America, and they are protected by the companies that employ them.

The Workplace Bullying Institute defines this abuse as ‘repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees or boss; abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse.’

The sad part is that others are aware of the abuse, and feel helpless. Others just leave the company, and many companies wonder why there is a mass exodus. HR managers can downplay the exodus to protect their own jobs.

I suggest you start applying for new jobs, but here are some ways to deal with the toxic boss in the interim:

1. Focus on Your Job, Rather then your Boss

Your boss is likely not going to change his gregarious and unprofessional behavior. You have no control over his reactions, however you do have control over how you do your job. Focus on the next best thing you can do to achieve your goals.

2. Set Boundaries on Communication

If you find your boss wants to meet one on one or calls you into meetings often, distracting you from your job, it’s time to set boundaries. Block out time on your calendar for different projects and let him know those time periods are sacred for completing projects where they need to be uninterrupted.

3. Build a Network

Others should have similar feelings about the bully as well. You should pair up with others that are feeling the same sense of bully behavior, and report the behavior together either to management or human resources. Typically the best , most effective way to go about it would be reaching out directly to the CEO or board if all else fails.

4. Document each instance of the bully’s behavior

And send a copy to your personal email address in BCC format as well. Legal implications may be necessary and you want to keep yourself protected.

5. Bad bosses stem from insecurity + lack of experience

They may not know what they are doing, or how to manage a bigger team respectfully so making them nervous and toxic. They may have a poor sense of self and feel like they are not good enough. It’s not your job to make them feel good about themselves, but you can confront them and ask them if everything is OK with them Maybe point out that you ntoive they seem tense and ask if they are doing OK. They may need someone to talk to, and although you are not the therapist they’ve always needed at least you can try to get the monkey off your back in the interim.

6. Find a new job

Just as there are many fish in the sea, there are many great bosses out there that have your growth in mind. The best bosses are the bosses that after you leave a company, you’d still want to work for them.

Although discrimination and racism happens often in the workplace, it is good to document instances and come up with a plan to protect yourself. Hiring a lawyer may also be a good idea as well, so you know your rights.

Have you had a toxic boss? What did you do to manage him or her? Any helpful tips would be great, please let us know in the comments below!