Compare and contrast the five elements of toxic leadership and how they may manifest in a toxic leader and a nontoxic leader. Toxic leadership is characterized by five key elements, including abusive supervision, self-serving behavior, unethical conduct, authoritarian leadership, and negative affectivity. These elements can manifest differently in toxic and non-toxic leaders, as outlined below.
- Abusive supervision Abusive supervision is a form of negative interaction between a leader and their subordinates. In toxic leaders, this can manifest as yelling, criticizing, and belittling team members. In contrast, non-toxic leaders provide constructive feedback and are supportive of their team’s development.
- Self-serving behavior Self-serving behavior refers to a leader’s tendency to prioritize their own interests over those of their team or organization. Toxic leaders may engage in unethical practices, such as taking credit for their subordinates’ work, while non-toxic leaders focus on empowering their team to succeed.
- Unethical conduct Unethical conduct involves engaging in practices that violate ethical or moral standards. Toxic leaders may engage in unethical conduct, such as lying to their team, while non-toxic leaders are transparent and honest in their communication.
- Authoritarian leadership Authoritarian leadership involves a top-down approach where the leader makes decisions without input from their team. Toxic leaders may use their power to control and manipulate their subordinates, while non-toxic leaders encourage collaboration and seek input from their team before making decisions.
- Negative affectivity Negative affectivity refers to a leader’s tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anger or frustration. Toxic leaders may take out their negative emotions on their team, while non-toxic leaders maintain a positive attitude and seek to inspire their team.
In summary, toxic leaders tend to exhibit abusive supervision, self-serving behavior, unethical conduct, authoritarian leadership, and negative affectivity, while non-toxic leaders prioritize constructive feedback, empowerment, honesty, collaboration, and positivity. By recognizing and avoiding these toxic behaviors, leaders can create a positive work environment and inspire their team to achieve their full potential.