Toxic Leadership is an issue that is getting leaders in a lot of trouble these days. While the 1SG’s actions are not appropriate, Top is a human being and we have all lost our tempers at some point in time. That does not make it right, but mistakes make us human.
When you find yourself walking into a room with an irate or abusive leader, I recommend you take the following steps:
- Identify that you do not appreciate unprofessional and abusive language and intimidation. Politely ask him to stop. If it continues, shut up and deal with the issue later.
- Write a formal MFR stating what happened, when it happened, how it happened, and who witnessed it. Ensure it is factual, unemotional, and professional.
- Attempt to resolve the issue with the offender at a later date. You may have more success talking to him once he has had a chance to cool off.
- If you cannot resolve the problem with the 1SG directly, request a meeting with the Commander on open door policy.
Depending on the specifics of the situation, this could be considered Abuse of Subordinates. No command will or should tolerate abusive or toxic behavior. Senior leaders have a responsibility to deal with this. They are going to ask questions such as “how often does this occur” and “does it impact numerous individuals.”