5 Tips for Dealing With Toxic Executives

If you have ever worked with someone who was incredibly difficult to deal with, then you probably understand what it’s like to work under a toxic executive. These bosses can make your life miserable if you allow them to get the best of you, but these tips can help you work more effectively and efficiently with these difficult people. First, remember that the executive you’re dealing with has been promoted because they are good at what they do, and everyone working under them has agreed that they are the right person for the job – until now, that is!

1) Know Who You’re Dealing With

The first step in dealing with a toxic executive is to know who you’re dealing with. Please do your research and understand their personality type. This will help you determine how to approach them best and formulate strategies. For example, if they are extroverts, it may be best to make the interaction fun, while introverts prefer a more formal setting. 

It’s also important to remember that how you communicate can affect the outcome of your meeting or discussion. Find out if they are results-oriented or task-oriented, and then communicate accordingly. You’ll need to present yourself as credible and trustworthy, so stay on topic and don’t ramble about irrelevant information.

2) Explore What’s Causing It

When dealing with a toxic executive, it’s essential to understand what’s causing the problem. Is it a personal issue? A clash of personalities? Or is there something deeper going on within the company? Once you’ve identified the root cause, you can start to take steps to address it. 

3) Develop a Plan of Action

It can be challenging to deal with a toxic executive, but there are some things you can do to make the situation more bearable:

  • Try to avoid them as much as possible. If you have to work with them, be as professional as possible and don’t engage in any gossip.
  • Talk to HR about the situation and see if they can help.

4) Build your confidence

When dealing with a toxic executive, building your confidence is essential. Here are tips to help you do just that 

  • Stop and think about the best possible outcome before the meeting or call begins; 
  • Speak clearly and confidently during the meeting; 
  • Don’t allow yourself to be interrupted; 
  • Be prepared by reading up on the company beforehand; 
  • Take time afterward to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better.

5) Follow up

Focus on yourself when you follow up on something (whether it’s an email or call). Talk about how your role has impacted their behavior, not how they make other people feel. Don’t get into an argument with them, but point out that their behavior isn’t helpful or productive and make explicit requests for how they can improve things in the future.


ModernHR is a full-service HR consulting firm specializing in human resource management, employee relations, and employee training. In addition, we offer strategic counsel on issues including talent management, labor law compliance, payroll, recruiting, benefits, training, and OSHA regulations. Our team has expertise across organizational needs, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we will provide you with insights on how best to manage toxic executives in your workplace.