The Psychology Of Toxic Leaders

The Psychology Of Toxic Leaders

The collective mind of employees gets detached from occupational objectives or the mission and vision of the organization. This is the immediate effect of toxic leadership. The brain of each employee thriving under toxic leadership will be charged with emotions rather than reasoned judgments. They compulsively engage in devising ways to retaliate or to flee, or remain immune from toxicity.

Toxicity needs conflicts and confrontations

Toxic leaders love problems than their solutions. They always make sure that the situation is tense either at the individual or collective level. They always need some unresolved issue to deal with. It helps to cover up their inadequacy. They spill their toxicity while dealing with cooked-up or whacky problems.

They accuse individuals, spread the wrong messages, and hurt emotions. By doing so toxic leader wants to give the impression that it is not his personal inadequacy as a leader but the inadequacy inherent in the situation which is preventing him from creating a good working atmosphere.

Toxicity needs manure

There will be something or somebody around helping a toxic leader to remain in his/her toxicity. It might be a higher authority that has some vested interest in the organization. Such authority prefers a divide and rule policy to a democratic working atmosphere. Or it might be some irreplaceable but outdated, dysfunctional organizational policies. For example, if in an organization leaders are selected according to the sole criterion of seniority of members, there is no option but to suffer in silence whatever personal traits leaders are carrying with them. The same is the case with nepotism

However, no toxic leadership can thrive without at least one hand to support and give assurance to them that their ways are flawless. A toxic leader is a personality grounded in “insecurity”. And he cannot stand and thrive on his own.


  • Employees can demand for a “redressal mechanism” in the organization. This mechanism will function as a conduit for resolving resentments.
  • Learn to speak aloud whenever confronted with injustice from your leader.
  • Learn to be assertive. Master the art of mixing assertiveness and respect in right proportion while communicating to the leader.
  • Be positive in your intentions. Then the words and deeds that you choose to be assertive will not violate boundaries.
  • Enquire about your colleagues’ stance about the leader before crafting your own actions.
  • Seek the help of higher authorities.
  • Have well awareness about legal protection for workplace harassment.
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