First, remember the boss is human, too. The stress of life and work can creep up on them, just like the rest of us.
If the negativity hasn’t already been brought to their attention via an upward or company-wide review, it should be addressed as quickly as possible for the good of the team.
Depending on your relationship with the boss, you may feel comfortable discussing the issues with him or her directly. If so, choose an appropriate time and setting to do so. Share your observations. If you’re concerned about them personally, say so. Be honest about how the negativity is impacting others. Finally, ask them to seek out the necessary resources to get back on track. (Your EAP can offer coaching on how to tactfully approach the conversation and ensure a positive and productive outcome.)
If talking with the boss yourself isn’t an option, you can always consult with HR or another trusted company leader who will keep your identity confidential.
Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Dealing with a negative co-worker is one thing. Dealing with a negative superior can take stress and workplace tensions to another level. When things get prickly, try stepping back from the situation and taking a pause. Take a deep breath, go for a quick walk, or call the EAP for support.
For more guidance on how to handle complex workplace issues like this, contact us.