We have recently had a change in leadership at work and our new boss has chosen certain people that are part of her “inner circle,” i.e. people who are trusted to relay information to her and to effect change. Others in the group are kind of in a neutral space, where she doesn’t think too much of us one way or the other. Others of us in the group have been pulled aside and berated for her impression of behavior that she considers “unprofessional” or “wrong” (although most would agree none of the circumstances were objectively wrong).
We have come to recognize that there is this circle of people who are informants to our new boss, and that is creating some uncertainty and lack of trust in most people in our group as we can never determine who is “telling on ” people and what is a behavior that will be unacceptable to the boss. The “targeted group,” i.e. the people who are being berated in private meetings, are routinely calling me and crying, and trying to get help through therapy and coaching and spiritual guidance.
Although I am not in the “inner circle” or the “targeted group,” the psychological uncertainty of how what were previously considered normal interactions in the workplace will be perceived (I have worked at this job for 10+ years and these same people have worked with me and there was never any drama previously about their actions or behaviors) and the sadness I feel for my colleagues is making me consider leaving on a daily basis. I have worked hard to build this career, and I don’t want to throw it away but I also can’t spend everyday trying to manage my mind around the anxiety that my job provokes.
There are many issues here, but I have been starting with trying to get to thoughts around my boss that reduce her power over me and attenuate my fear. Here is my original model:
C: New boss
T: She is unfairly targeting people and creating divisiveness
F: Fear and Flight — I need to get out of here
A: Try to think of ways to get out of here, but realize I am not in the mental space to make that decision so indulge in confusion
R: Remain anxious, try to get help through coaching to get to a neutral space
C: New boss
T: She is doing the best she can but her leadership skills may be inadequate
F: Compassion for her, less fear for me
A: Try to determine ways I can cope and support my colleagues without throwing away my career
R: Grow into a more mature person who can make decisions from a place of maturity
Thank you for your help with this, it has been consuming my thoughts for the past few months and I am ready to start looking for solutions.