It is pretty easy to identify when you are working for a bad boss. But, it isn’t so easy to know if you are the bad boss that employees whisper about at the water cooler. Being a bad boss will hamper the best intentions, erode enthusiasm and stifle innovation. Here are 10 signs that you have become the boss you used to dread.
1) You only meet with your employees when something is wrong
Take a minute to think about the interactions you have had with your employees over the last month. Were those meetings only about the things that aren’t going right or that need to be fixed?
2) You go days or possibly weeks without speaking to an employee
When was the last time you met with each employee one-on-one? What was the quality of the content of those meetings?
3) You have favorites
Do you favor certain people because of their personality or because of their performance? If it is the former, you play favorites. If it is the latter, what are you doing to improve the performance of those you don’t favor? If the answer is nothing, you are still playing favorites.
4) You share the blame but take the fame
Do you take ultimate accountability for what your employees do, or don’t do? Being the boss means always taking the blame. When your employees do well you look good anyway so don’t be afraid to give them the credit they deserve.
5) You aren’t providing them with opportunities to grow
How long has any given employee under you been in their current role? Have you given them opportunities to work on projects that stretch their capabilities and challenge them to learn new things?
6) You dread going to work in the morning
If you aren’t looking forward to being at work that will rub off on your employees. They will know you aren’t happy to be there and eventually they will adopt your negative view.
7) You aren’t discussing their future
Do you regularly talk to your employees about where they want to go within the organization and what they want to do? Are you helping them develop a career map with an actionable plan on how to achieve it?
8) You don’t want to hear their viewpoint
This is especially important when you haven’t been in their role in a long time, if you ever were. Do you know how hard their job has become because of the changes you have implemented? Do you listen to their concerns and solutions to a problem? Or, do you dismiss them as whining?
9) You aren’t open to their feedback
Do you objectively listen to their feedback about you as their manager? Are you even asking for their feedback?
10) You make promises you can’t keep
Do you make elaborate and wonderful sounding promises without any commitments, details or timelines? Are you promising if they do X well then Y will happen in an attempt to keep them happy and productive?
Everyone has had a bad boss at one time or another. Every boss has had the traits of a bad boss from time to time. Being aware of those traits and objectively looking at how you are leading your teams can help you quickly correct yourself before you wreck yourself.