8 Ways to Tell if You Are a Bad Boss

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From the movie Horrible Bosses to the television show The Office, bad bosses have been a staple of the big and small screen for years. And while many bosses may not take their poor management to the extremes that characters like Michael Scott of The Office did on a weekly basis, there are still plenty of ways you can be a horrible boss.

3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their partners, specifically managers, that there are certain behaviours they should recognize in their management, as well as themselves, and strive to correct.

  1. Your communication style is abrasive: While there’s no denying that take-charge management gets the job done, it can also rub employees the wrong way and bring morale down. Despite being portrayed as being evil, vindictive individuals, most of the time, it’s a fear of being perceived as being incompetent and often, they may not realize that they are being abrasive. Drawing the manager’s attention to their behaviour and the negative effect it is having can be an effective tool.
  2. You have poor planning skills: A good manager knows how to plan effectively. However, if you procrastinate, leaving planning until the last minute, this can reflect poorly on your organization and may leave your employees feeling resentful. A good manager will know to plan well ahead and have tasks completed in advance of a deadline.
  3. You expect your team to read your mind: While it would be great if everyone had telepathy, unfortunately, there are no real-life Professor Xaviers. If you expect your employees to know what you want in advance, this can build up resentment and bring down morale. Clearly communicate what is expected of your employees.
  4. You take credit for the good and pass the blame for the bad: This is often the biggest complaint that many employees have about their bosses. If you constantly take the credit for your employees’ hard work while passing the blame when things go sour, this will lead to issues with morale. Alternately, if you ignore your employees’ good work and only acknowledge the bad, this can also have a negative effect on morale.
  5. You cannot take constructive criticism: Constructive criticism is meant to draw attention to any issues with an employee or manager’s performance and offer ways to improve it. If your response to constructive criticism is to go on the defensive, this is a sign of poor management.
  6. You are arrogant: There’s a big difference between arrogance and confidence. If a boss is an arrogant know-it-all whose every word is law, this can have a negative effect on morale and may lead to staff quitting, or at least complaints to HR.
  7. You are uncaring: Even the most incompetent boss can get away with poor management if their employees believe they care about them, and even if they genuinely do. However, if you’re the type of boss who calls sick employees to ask them when they will be back to work or deny them days off for important appointments or family commitments, chances are you’ll face a high turnover rate or getting called before HR.
  8. You use fear tactics: Nothing will bring the morale of an organization down faster than a boss who uses fear mongering. Whether it’s because they believe this is a way to effectively manage or they’re unsure about how to get results so they resort to fear tactics, this is not an effective way to manage.